I must admit, when Smart Cars started appearing on the roads around here, I had a few choice comments to make about the validity of the name. Okay, I’ll concede that the gas mileage is decent, although I hear it’s nothing like the 70 mpg that was originally claimed. Its biggest asset appears to be its ease of parking, which I will admit, if you like to frequent the beaches south of LA, can be a really valuable thing.
What bothered me at first glance was the apparent crushability of the thing. How could you possibly feel safe in a car like that, especially in traffic? Thanks to my Car Nut Husband and his propensity for browsing You Tube, however, I have since had to revise that opinion. After seeing some amazing crash-test footage that demonstrates the “Tridion safety cell” design in action, I must say I am impressed. Perhaps the Smart car is not quite as fragile as I had thought. But even the crash test people noted that while the car preserved the seating areas even after hitting a wall at 70mph, the human body is not meant to take that rate of deceleration, so any humans inside a car in that case would still have some pretty serious injuries.
Which is why, dear lady in the blue Smart car tooling down a six-lane road just ahead of me this morning, I wanted to weave through rush-hour traffic until I got up next to you, roll down the window and give you fair warning.
Because no matter what the label on the back of your car says, if you are driving along sometimes in your lane, sometimes with two wheels over the line into the next lane despite the car already occupying it next to you, while at the same time tailgating a panel truck and eventually trying to pass the truck by cutting in front of it through a gap into which only acould fit, and all the while having an animated conversation with the person in your passenger seat, that’s just not Smart.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that demotes the model to Idiot Car.