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Is It Safer To Be In A Bigger Or Smaller Car During A Collision?

Is It Safer To Be In A Bigger Or Smaller Car During A Collision?

Everyone assumes that a bigger car is automatically safer when it comes to a collision because of its size. A larger and heavier weight car is just going to survive a crash better than a smaller car.

Adjustments, modifications and technological advances have somewhat altered that assumption as major improvements made to both larger and smaller cars have proven that there are advantages with both. There will obviously be increased safety with a larger car, particularly a newer one. What’s important is determining whether a larger or smaller vehicle is going to meet safety requirements, eliminate risks and meet driver adaptability and needs.

Modern Cars

Safety features in newer or modern cars, no matter the size of the car, contain elements that reduce the chances of injury or death. Some vehicles have upgraded features as well as standard features. The standard features in newer cars include:

  • Airbags – (front, side, rear, curtain airbag) Most of these airbags are found in even the least expensive of newer cars.
  • Sensors and cameras for backing up – They help in avoiding rear-end collisions and are found in new cars from 2018
  • Blind Spot – A sensor or camera in a newer vehicle acts as a warning to inform a driver that there is another car next to them when maneuvering to make a lane change.
  • Electronic Stability – This is a control device that helps to stabilize a vehicle when it goes into a slide or spin. It helps to control a vehicle in the event of a rollover accident. This type of stabilizer was once only available in luxury vehicles but is now found in most every vehicle since 2012.
  • Reinforced roofs – A reinforced roof will provide safety with a roof cave-in.

Weight, Size, and Height

A larger car is going to be heavier and able to take the impact of a collision more effectively than a smaller car. The larger the size and weight of a vehicle, the less damage will be incurred in an accident. Hoods on larger and newer vehicles are also able to better withstand the brunt of damage from head on collisions. The hood on a larger sized vehicle has considerably more area than a smaller car’s hood and can take the crumbling and crushing effect that happens in front-end collisions. A smaller vehicle is much less likely to endure the aftermath of a front-end accident. The front of a vehicle is the one area that is going to take the impact, and a larger vehicle can much easier sustain that type of damage.

In thinking of the height of a vehicle, a larger vehicle’s center of gravity is going to be higher, which can be risky when it comes to rollover accidents, while a smaller vehicle is usually going to be lower. A rollover accidents is less likely to occur with a smaller car, but there is the chance of a smaller vehicle skidding and sliding under another vehicle (large semi-trailer truck) from the back and creating an underride accident, which is usually deadly.


A vehicle with a lot of weight is going to have an increased momentum and will have more difficulty slowing down. In the case of an accident with a smaller car, the force of the larger vehicle will significantly impact the smaller one and cause it to propel as well as damage it. The impact will most likely cause severe damages and injuries to any driver and passengers. Risks are definitely higher when a larger vehicle collides with a smaller one.

Larger and Smaller Vehicle Considerations

There are many things to take into consideration when determining the safety of a bigger or smaller car. What’s important to know is that a larger, newer vehicle is going to withstand a collision better than its smaller counterpart, but there are considerations to be made with smaller vehicles as well. They are usually less expensive, get good gas mileage and are easier to operate, particularly for a novice driver. Remember with all new vehicles, large or small, technological features have increased their overall safety, so the risks are a whole lot less than with any sized older vehicle.

If you are not sure about the safety of your current vehicle, or a new one, and are unsure of the effects a collision could have on either, complete the online contact form, and a collision expert will get back to you with the answers you need to better understand the safety of your vehicle.

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