Insurance Institute compares 2-door cars with 4-door cars for safety in car accident tests

Automobile manufacturers keep making safety improvement to cars and that is a huge factor in the decrease in car accident fatalities per mile driven over the past five years. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety usually does crash tests on 4-door car models because of the requirements for safety for family use cars. They decided to test five 2-door car models to see how they hold up in crash tests because not all the data from 4-door cars pertain to 2-door cars.

The IIHS tested four small cars and one mid-size car:

  • Chevrolet Cobalt
  • Ford Focus
  • Honda Civic
  • Scion tC
  • Volvo C30


There are four ratings give for each crash test: Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. Of the five cars that they tested, all received an Acceptable or better in the three types of crash tests. Of the cars tested, the Volvo and the Ford received the “Top Safety Pick” and all the other vehicles were rated Acceptable or better.

Frontal accident test

All five cars earned a Good in the frontal offset test. In 2007, here were 14,000 car accident fatalities due to frontal car accidents so this is a very important test.

Side impact accident test

Of the five cars tested, only the Ford and the Volvo received a Good rating while the other vehicles all received an Acceptable rating. Side impact car accidents are the second most common type of car accidents resulting in 8,000 people being killed in side impact car accidents in 2007.

The results of this test showed that the 4-door models do not always perform the same as the 2-door-models. The Honda Civic earned a Good when the 4-door model was tested and only an Acceptable with the 2-door model. The Ford Focus actually performed better on the side crash tests with the 2-door model than the 4-door model.

Rear end test

Whiplash injuries including neck sprain and strain are the number one car accident injury. Automakers have been working on the designs of seats and also the restraints to reduce whiplash injuries. In the rear end test, they test how the seats and restraints protect against injury in low-speed rear-end car accidents. They test a stationary vehicle being rear-ended by an SUV or pickup truck at 20mph.

In this test, all five of the cars tested were rated Good except the Scion tC which received an Acceptable rating.

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent car accident victims and their families. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages including medical costs and for pain and suffering.

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