Feature Flick: 2012 Chevrolet Sonic Undergoes Crash Testing

The myth that large cars are always safer than small cars has long been debunked, and Chevrolet is keen to once again dispel that myth. Heck, you can watch how the 2012 Chevrolet Sonic fares in crash tests for yourself.

The Sonic will come with 10 standard airbags: two dual-stage bags up front, two full-length side-curtain airbags, four side-impact bags, and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, a first in its segment.In the event of a rollover, the Sonic’s roof can withstand the force of four times the car’s weight. The side-curtain airbags will also deploy, which stay inflated longer than other airbags to prevent passengers from being ejected.

More than half of the specially designed body structure is made from high-strength steel, but parts of the front assembly are also made from ultra-high-strength steel to absorb front-impact forces. The Sonic’s engine cradle was also designed to absorb and move forces through the body structure in the event of a crash.

The Sonic’s initial round of crash tests -- shown in the videos below --were performed by GM engineers earlier this month. Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have had a crack at crashing the car for themselves, but GM says it’s determined to put the Sonic atop the safety rating list. Stay tuned to see if they succeed.

Source: GM

There are three myths about big vehicles, 1. That they are safer in a crash, which is countered by simple physics, Force = mass X acceleration, so for any given speed, you create a lot more force in a heavy vehicle. 2. They are safer, except that insurance actuaries know that larger cars are more likely to get into accidents because of poorer manoeuvrability, poorer visibility, and greater braking distances, and 3. 4-wheel drive trucks are better in snow storms, same physics -more force sideways in cornering for any speed, and more weight to stop on four tires. This is why light, small cars with snow tires rarely get stuck or spin off a road, unlike 4WD trucks with those high gravity centres. The safest vehicle is the one that can avoid the crash.

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