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Driving a smaller car comes with greater safety risks

The size and weight of a vehicle are key factors when safety experts evaluate the crashworthiness of an automobile. Even when a small vehicle uses premium parts and advanced safety technology, the safety of California drivers and passengers is considered compromised when compared to larger automobiles. This is due to how vehicles absorb impact and the momentum of light cars versus heavier cars.

One of the reasons that individuals fare worse in smaller cars is because they have less material protecting them. In front impacts, the front end of the vehicle absorbs energy from a collision before it reaches the passenger cabin. The larger this area, sometimes referred to as the crumple zone, the less energy will reach people in the cabin. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the smallest and lightest cars have twice the fatality rates as the biggest and heaviest ones.

The safety of smaller cars is also impacted by momentum, a combination of speed and weight. Given equal speeds, a larger, heavier car will have more momentum than a smaller one, meaning the small car will need to absorb more energy. What this means in real life is that if two cars of unequal size and weight collide on the road, the driver and passengers in the smaller vehicle have a greater chance of being harmed.

Passengers or drivers who have suffered a car accident injury in a smaller vehicle may be entitled to damages if it can be demonstrated that the accident was due to the negligence of another driver. They might want to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.

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