The Car Geek: Does Size Matter?

The Car Geek

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Does Size Matter?

Most consumers opt for smaller cars thinking that it is more fuel efficient as compared with larger cars but it could also mean greater exposure to dangers and accidents.

Heavier cars are better as asserted by Michael Smith, a research psychologist working for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as he said, "The heavier the vehicle the better".

The safety features, weight and resistance to roll over are the primary factors to be considered to ensure safety during crashes and collisions. Small cars may have greater resistance to rollover but their weight may not be enough to sustain the impact. Besides, their features may not be suited for a stability control system or a full side curtain airbags.

Avid Cavano, auto purchasing services manager for Automobile Club of Southern California also added, "Size matters absolutely. It's a big issue, especially when you get on a freeway. Get into a small, two-door car and pull up next to a sport-utility vehicle. The bumpers just don't match. The higher you sit on the freeway, the more the chassis and frame are going to absorb the impact."

The number of accidents involving small cars can also speak for themselves. Recorded crash figures starting from 2003 done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows 142 fatalities per million registered small cars. 75 deaths per million involve small SUVs which dropped to 62 fatalities for big SUVs. Small truck on the other hand has 124 per million as compared with 102 per million for larger trucks.

Well, those facts may somewhat be a kind of "against" small cars but all I can say is; safety primarily depends on "you". The person who takes full control of the car's steering wheel or of whatever action or direction the vehicle might take is still more important than the size, features or specifications of the vehicle.

And of course safety also depends on the condition of the systems comprising the car specifically the brake system, electrical system, engine system, fuel system and steering and suspension system. Defective parts must be replaced at once with new quality parts straight from Auto Parts Inner to avoid risks to our safety and those of our loved ones.