Last week we wrote about recommendations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety regarding the types of cars teen drivers should have to be safest on the roads. One of the characteristics mentioned in that post is the size of the car. When it comes to teen drivers, the bigger and heavier the vehicle, the better. As it turns out, this appears to be the case with other drivers as well.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently performed crash tests on several small cars and overall the results were not good. The test specifically focused on collisions where a quarter of the front part of the vehicle strikes a barrier travelling at 40 miles per hour. Called the “Small Overlap Front Test,” it is designed to mimic situations where a vehicle might strike a tree or telephone poll.

Of the vehicles involved in this particular test four received the “poor” rating. Two were deemed marginal and five received the “acceptable” rating.

The results of the test are important since findings from the IIHS are commonly used to try to get carmakers to improve the design of vehicles.

While safer vehicles may have an impact on the severity of injuries incurred, depending on the safety feature they may not do much in the way of preventing accidents from happening. This is because often negligent actions on the part of drivers are to blame for automobile accidents. In these situations parties who are seriously injured in a crash may file a personal injury lawsuit against negligent drivers. Similarly, when someone dies in a crash his or her loved ones could file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: WWJ, “Small Cars Don’t Fare Well In New Crash Tests,” Jeff Gilbert, July 30, 2014