"My tiny, gas-saving car saved my life"

Toyota Yaris Accident Safety photo

Update: Toyota to Sell a Yaris-Based Hybrid for Around $15.7k in Late 2011
We're Glad You're Okay, Nick
Nick Chambers of Gas2 just had a big car accident, and we're glad to learned that he could just walk away with minor injuries. His Toyota Yaris hit a six-foot-high dirt embankment at highway speed and rolled over three times, but Nick "crawled out with no more than a bump on [his] head, seat belt burn, and a massively stiff neck."

In a post that he wrote today, the day of the accident, he had this to say about small car safety...

But now that my life has stopped flashing before my eyes, and I’ve had a chance to think, it is simply amazing that I walked away from that crash barely bleeding. I mean, just look at the remnants of my car.

In fact, after today, I think I fared better in my Yaris than I would have in a Suburban land yacht. Imagine how many times I would have flipped in the Suburban and the force of impact that would have come along with crashing an 8600 pound car?

So, for everybody out there that’s using safety as an excuse to not go green, I must ask you to please take a look at that picture of my car and the wonder of how I walked away well enough to write this post the same day. Then try turning around and telling me that these upcoming small alternative cars aren’t safe simply because they’re small.

Indeed, safety is a complex thing. First, active safety and passive safety are two very different thing. Many cars that wouldn't do as well as others in a crash are also more nimble, with shorter braking distances and a better visibility, avoiding accidents in the first places. Others are big but badly designed (like those SUVs that rolled over at the drop of a feather), other are small but well engineered (like Nick's Yaris, it seems). Some cars also increase the chances of accidents for those around (if your headlights are blinding, or if you are so big and high that nobody in the back can see anything).

We're curious to know if our readers have similar - or different - personal anecdotes about small car safety. Please let us know in the comments below.

Via Gas2
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