On 7/29/09, Donald Briscoe Dix,age 82, of Charlotte,NC, was killed in his Smart when he ran a stop sign and was hit by a minivan ...WSOCTV.com posted a photo of his destroyed Smart on 7/29/09...He is apparently the first Smart fatality in the US...

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With a total of 43,126 Smarts sold through 7/10, Smart continues to do well on its fatality rate...Another Smart car death was recorded in 6/10, bringing a grand total of 4... As an average car of any size should have 6 or 7 fatalities, the Smart still indicates it is most certainly not a "death trap"...
Here's the link to Bob Diaz's analysis: http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/my-anaylsis-smart-car-pr...

Robert Stout said:
A guy named Bob Diaz has been keeping track of Smart fatalities...It still appears to be only 3...Despite minicompacts being more dangerous due to light weight and less crush space, our death rate is less than half that for all cars...The "crash" cell,air bags,belts, brakes,and stability control work great...If our smart driving keeps up, the Smart will be listed as one of the safer cars, to the surprise of many critics...

Foothill said:
when you look at the picture it appears the triteon steel cage did its job and the passenger compartment wasn't crushed, the impact appeared to be on the passenger side so if we ever get a post mortum it will probably focus cause of death on seat belt use (or not), age and speed of the other vehicle snapping the smart ( and driver) around
The statistics are missing the number of deaths per miles driven. Without the miles stat, the others are not very useful. Just mho, but I would bet the smarts are driven fewer miles because they are not used for longer trips so much, and not so much for business.

Someone mentioned that the 82 year old would not be prone to recklessness. No, but he would have been just as likely as anyone else to "not see" a van coming, and pull out in front. Or to just not notice the stop sign.

My view of the smart is that it's great around town, but you want to be extra careful, just as if you are riding a bike, because its weight is so much less than other vehicles, despite the safety features. But nobody survives a hit by a semi, at least not many. The other accident pictures and anecdotes are obviously inflammatory, and from the accompanying comments, he has a political axe to grind.

jwight said:
Here's the link to Bob Diaz's analysis: http://www.smartcarofamerica.com/forums/f4/my-anaylsis-smart-car-pr...

Robert Stout said:
A guy named Bob Diaz has been keeping track of Smart fatalities...It still appears to be only 3...Despite minicompacts being more dangerous due to light weight and less crush space, our death rate is less than half that for all cars...The "crash" cell,air bags,belts, brakes,and stability control work great...If our smart driving keeps up, the Smart will be listed as one of the safer cars, to the surprise of many critics...

Foothill said:
when you look at the picture it appears the triteon steel cage did its job and the passenger compartment wasn't crushed, the impact appeared to be on the passenger side so if we ever get a post mortum it will probably focus cause of death on seat belt use (or not), age and speed of the other vehicle snapping the smart ( and driver) around
I suspect the passenger side impact was a factor.  If he had been hit on the driver side, the side airbag would have limited the movement of neck/head, but would have been too far away on the passenger side.

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