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Your Dad wanted you to drive a big car. His reasoning was simple, if you get into a bad car accident, you maybe in-need of the help from various los angeles law firms. After all, everyone in a big car is surrounded by a heavy steel cage, nothing is going to penetrate something that robust. Problem is, it’s not really true. If you happen to get into a car accident then you may suffer fatal injuries.

Today’s safety features factor in

Sure, today’s cars are lighter and smaller than the cars of big, old cars of yesteryear but today they are engineered with hundreds of safety features. For example, today’s cars are designed with complex “crumple-zones” that allow the force of an impact to be absorbed during collisions; engines are designed with breakaway motor-mounts that allow the engine to be pushed under the car in the event of an accident (not into the passenger apartment); and, of course, air bags that instantly deploy all around inside today cars to protect passengers. Even with all of these modern safety features, it is hard to guarantee safety during a vehicle collision. That is why you’ll want to make sure that you have got full legal coverage if you are ever in the position where you are injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. If a situation like this ever does affect you, it may be a good idea to have a look at a website similar to so you can be aware of all of your legal options.

Yet, with all that safety technology in place, many people still insist that a big, old heavy car is the best protection. Enter the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS is an independent, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses from automobile crashes. IIHS research focuses on three main areas: human factors, vehicle factors, and external factors. The results of all IIHS research is freely shared with anyone interested.

Testing the hypothesis

So, back to big, old car safety. Our friends at Clear Lake Chrysler (Houston, TX) suggested this wonderful case study of small, new car vs big, old car. In 2009, in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding, the IIHS decided to test the safety of a big, vintage car and see how the occupants would fare in a head-on collision. To test this hypothesis, two cars were selected: a brand new (at the time) 2009 Chevrolet 4-door Malibu and a fully operational 1959 Chevy BelAir 4-door sedan.

On Sept 9th, 2009, the BelAir and Malibu were brought to a testing facility where they were then accelerated to 40mph and smashed directly into each other. The results were quite striking.

The big, old car did worse

“It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection,” said IIHS president Adrian Lund. On the big, old BelAir, the windshield dislodges, the driver’s door opens and the front half of the Bel Air crushes the dummy in the driver’s seat. Conversely, the front end of the Chevy Malibu gets smashed up fine but the passenger compartment is completely intact. It looks like the driver and passengers would be capable of walking away.

So, the conclusion of this new, small car vs big, old car crash is quite clear. There is no need to buy a vehicle that is physically large for safety reasons. All cars today have a plethora of safety features installed and they will protect whoever is in the vehicle quite well.

Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.