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What Happens When Small Cars Meet Big Cars on the Road?


April 2, 2012

Mr. Donald Parker, a Principal in Exponent’s Vehicle Engineering practice, recently published an article in the Claims Journal entitled, “David versus Goliath revisited. What happens when small cars meet big cars on the road?”

The article is a short explanation of the physics involved in car crashes, and the effects of mass and momentum in those crashes. It is relevant in that with today’s rising gas prices, manufacturers are rushing to build or import small and “micro” cars, many of which have good government and industry safety ratings based on standard barrier tests. The picture may change when they meet up with Goliath on the roadway. While big cars and small cars have always been with us, public perception and expectations may be affected by the highly-publicized safety ratings.