Well while everybody else is dreaming of crashing into each other, I'll be practicing safe driving. No cell phones, etc. And due to all the bicycling, scootering, and motorcycling I do, I treat the others on the road as if they are out to get me. That has already prevented many situations that could have been a whole lot worse.
Old EPA 23/33/27
New EPA 21/30/24
By the 80's all vehicles had collapsible steering columns. My 1981 Buick has one, and my 74 Chevy truck did as well. As far as airbags goes, I'd rather be in an accident in an 85 Fleetwood with no airbags, than in a Smart with airbags. You may not realize, I am a former EMT and drove an ambulance for 10 years, and served as my squad's 2nd Lt. I have seen all sorts of accidents involving just about all makes & models of vehicles. The cars that the worst people came out of? Geo Metros, Suzuki Samurais, and Hyundai Excels. Full size cars (Caprice, Crown Victoria, Grand Marquis, Fleetwood, Town Car, Etc,) rarely had passengers that were seriously injured. Even when they wrecked on I-95 going 65+ MPH.
I'll take an accident in a mid 80's caddy (provided we're not talking about a Cimmaron) any day over an accident in a Smart.
I have a mid-80s Cad (Eldorado, not Cimarron) and I am pretty impressed with crash tests I've seen with the Smart. Remember, the Smart has about 30 years worth of improvements over the old Cad...the old car has no airbags, no crumple zones, just a lot of weight. And a mid 80's Cad has less weight than most cars of a decade earlier.
BTW, I LIKED the Cad Cimarron...
Frankly, I'd rather avoid the accident in the first place.
Back in 1979, I was riding my Yamaha XS-400 up to Berkley to visit my girlfriend. As I was riding up Interstate 5, a car had a blowout. The driver, a French tourist, stopped in the middle of the freeway. I was paying more attention to the cows on the side of the road, so I didn't realize that there was a stopped car up ahead. When I did, my first reaction was to hit the brakes. On a light bike, this will just send you into a skid. I skidded right into the back of the French tourist's car. At about 60 mph. As I was flying off the bike, the front wheel and the handlebars snapped around, catching my right leg between the right side of the handlebars and the gas tank, snapping my right femur in two. Also broke an arm as I tried to break my fall on the car trunk.
Fast forward...After I started riding again, I would take a spot which I estimated to be about as far away as the car I hit...then I would go around that spot. Kept practicing this until I internalized the concept. Never had another problem like that while I was riding, but I have avoided several accidents in the car by using this technique.
__________________ "We are forces of chaos and anarchy. Everything they say we are we are, and we are very proud of ourselves!" -- Jefferson Airplane
Dick Naugle says: 1. Prepare food fresh. 2. Serve customers fast. 3. Keep place clean.
The ForTwo is the smallest car the IIHS has ever tested. "All things being equal in safety, bigger and heavier is always better," said institute president Adrian Lund in an statement. "But among the smallest cars, the engineers at Smart did their homework and designed a high level of safety into a very small package."
But it also has the capability to absorb more energy... Also, the passenger compartment is usually reinforced more. Compare your average land yacht (Town car or Caprice) against your average compact. The land yacht has the front bumper 6 or 8 feet ahead of the passenger compartment. The compact is only 3 or 4 feet, and in the case of the Smart, probably even less. The doors on a land yacht are about 8 inches thick. A compact's doors are about half that. The large vehicle places the passengers farther away from the point of impact than the small vehicle. That is inherently safer, and cancels out the added momentum.