Small cars have many advantages over larger vehicles. They’re cheaper than most big automobiles, have better gas mileage, and are usually easier to park. But new safety tests show that smaller isn’t always better.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently shared findings from its latest crash tests, which found that most small cars lack adequate passenger protection when front crashes occur. The agency tested five small cars – the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Forte and Nissan Sentra – and found that only the Corolla and the Civic got “acceptable” ratings, while the rest rated “poor.”
For all five vehicles, the IIHS found that the rear seta dummy used for testing sank beneath the seat belt, causing the lap belt – which usually rests just above the lap around the hip bone area – to ride up onto the abdomen, which can cause internal injuries during a collision. The safety researchers also found that the rear passenger had a moderate or high head, neck and chest injury risk in the three poor-rated vehicles.
Possible seatbelt injuries
While designed to be safety restraints that prevent drivers and passengers from hitting the interior of a vehicle, seatbelts can also cause injuries if not worn properly. These injuries include:
- Skin abrasions and bruising
- Internal injuries such as bowel and mesenteric injuries
- Lacerations on the liver and spleen
- Lumbar spine fractures
- Neck injuries
- Rib fractures
While these injuries aren’t immediately fatal, they can lead to lifelong medical complications and physical restrictions for the injured.
Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, or your car is a small or large vehicle, motor vehicle accidents can result in grievous injuries that take a lot of time and money to treat. Right after an accident, you must seek medical treatment. If your condition requires drastic medical treatment, consider speaking with an attorney to help you obtain proper compensation from the driver who hit you.