Smart ForTwo Punted By Delivery Truck, Returned By Van

via Jalopnik:

Yesterday a co-worker of mine was involved in a motor vehicle accident while driving a Smart Car. Rumors were spreading around the office that he’d been hit by a SUV from behind which in turn drove him into a car.
That was WRONG!

Instead, he was hit from behind by a five ton delivery truck which served him like a tennis ball across the intersection to a cube van! He walked away with some minor abrasions from the airbags, and was quoted this morning as saying that he’s “just a little achy”. Is a Smart Car safe? You judge for yourself, but I think it faired pretty damn well.

“Just a little achy” trumps “just a little dead” in my book. I’m also duly impressed by the integrity of the windshield. The whole car should probably made of the same material.

I’m impressed.

Just a little achy means alive.

Top Gear did a high speed crash test of the Smart FourTwo.

Check it here…

The key part is this:

truck which served him like a tennis ball across the intersection to a cube van!

The energy of the impact wasn’t transmitted into the car, but rather was dissipated as the car traveled across the intersection. Had he been sandwiched, the results would have been very different.

that should buff right out.

The windshield is intact because the rest of the car has absorbed the energy of the collisions. Making the car out of safety glass will only serve to make it heavier rather than safe.


Keep in mind smaller doesn’t mean less-safe. The Smart was specifically designed so that the shell would act as a “nut” to protect whats inside. The small size works in its favor because it’s extremely well engineered to be ultra rigid.

The same wouldn’t be true for say a Mazda Miata where the small size and lack of a top/cage means getting in an accident can be very very bad.

Just saw this on CNN:

I like how the announcers keep pounding the theory that bigger is better, then being forced to admit that the “dummy” in the car has faired very well.

In the video, it looks to me that the Fusion windshield frame has deformed compared to the Smart which has not, which may indicate that the Ford is not as protective as the Daimler in an offset head-on collision.


I like the approach the engineers have taken with this truck:

Notice how they use the passenger cab as a crumple zone to protect the cargo in the back? :smiley:

Gasp…you mean cars can be engineered to withstand collisions and that it isn’t just size that matters? Next thing you know, they’ll put a man on the moon. I’m in shock and awe.

Yeah, that wasn’t sarcastic! Thanks for that useful comment Mr-914! :unamused:

I am glad to hear that the driver is okay.

I’m just surprised by the amount of articles, news pieces and forum topics that I’ve seen about the Smart this week. It’s incredible. It is really as though the general public woke up and discovered the quality of good engineering.

I find the situation kind of frustrating as a designer and car enthusiast. It’s good to see that people are learning through this product launch mind you. However, it’s frustrating to see how good engineering has gone so unnoticed for so many years.

If the appreciation of quality makes me elitist…so be it!

You mean my Triton V10 Ford Excursion isn’t well engineered?


I thought Ford just issued a recall for some late model trucks.


Not to thread jack or start an Interwebs waR; but could someone who’s a fan of the Smart Fortwo, or maybe even has one, explain to me what exactly is exciting about this car? I’m talking specifically about the gas, not diesel version. In all honesty, and not trying to be a jackass, what’s so great about this little guy? Great to know that it received passing crash test rating (as any car on the road should!) but what else?
With ho-hum gas mileage, slow acceleration, a tranny that’s supposedly slower than molasses… other than it’s small size, which isn’t particularly impressive either, or important for non-city dwellers, I’m not convinced this car is even worth talking about.

i agree on the point that the smart should be boasting a lower MPG rating ( i think it’s supposed to be driven on premium too!)

but the big deal is that it’s SMALLcars like this have been sold in europe for a long time. and here in the states we still have single-occupant SUVs crowding the highways and byways. i’ts grea that cars like this are finally being introduced into the US market. - says more about the consumers than it does the cars really.

I don’t own one (very few in America do, but I’ve started to see them occasionally, they’re hard to miss) but it has a few nice points for a city car.

Roomy interior for a commuter car.

It’s small enough to fit into a parking spot thats perpendicular to the curb. Living in NYC thats pretty useful.

The gas mileage might not be stellar - but it can still break into the 40mpg range and average in the high 30’s in city driving which is pretty good.

They’re obviously selling a lot of them, so the design and concept of it certainly appeals to some people. People like me would rather buy a Geo Metro and spend 1/10th the price for the same gas mileage/performance, though a Geo certainly isn’t safe or well engineered.

Choto: I understand your point. However, I would encourage you to go and take a look at a Smart. I think you’ll get it.

What impresses me about the Smart is the design and engineering. With the cloth accents on the dash and little detailing inside, plus the tight engineering package, I can’t help but be awed. Especially when the US market is filled with boring cars. On the emotional level, I like it because it stands out and is friendly looking. I still smile when I see them and they’ve been out in Canada for a couple years already.

I think Americans actually get the smart car and it’s one of the reason it’s so far backordered. Since theres no end in sight for the gas prices I think the next few years will start to bring a shift away from the exercusions and more towards the Honda Fit’s.