The tridion safety cell is what guarantees smart car crash safety. So if you are wondering is the smart car unsafe, the answer is a resounding NO.
Most people had never heard the term tridion before they saw their first smart car. I know I hadn't. And most people's first reaction to the size of the smart car is that is must be a death trap on the highway, that it could never survive a crash... or that the people in it couldn't, anyway.
And it's a shame people think that... because it just isn't true. And the main reason why the smart car is NOT unsafe is because of the smart car technology called a tridion safety cell. So... what the heck IS that?, I hear you asking.
Well, smartUSA calls it a "hard shell with a soft interior." I think of it as a sort of rollbar, if you're familiar with that technology. smartUSA also calls it a crash box, and compares it to the shell of a nut. They go on to say that when you ride in a smart car, you are protected by a steel housing that combines longitudinal and crosswise framing that displaces impact forces over a large area of the car.
There are steel bumpers at the front and rear of the smart fortwo car that are bolted to the safety cell's lengthwise beams via slip tubes. Minor impacts of less than 2MPH won't affect the crash box at all. And even up to 10MPH, the slip tubes protect the safety cell from any impact.
So minor accidents shouldn't affect your smart car much at all, and the bumpers and slip tubes are inexpensive to replace, should they become damaged.
At higher speed impacts (greater than 10MPH), the tridion safety cell disperses the impact along the entire frame. This helps protect the smart car's occupants from serious injury. The slip tubes in front and steel in the back provide crumple zones that offer further protection. At really hard impacts, the locking system automatically unlocks and the gas stops flowing to the engine.
Because of the smart's short wheelbase, you're also protected from side impacts. Most vehicles will strike the smart car's wheels, which are also connected to the tridion frame and help displace the crash energy. Each door also has a side brace installed.
So, as you can see the tridion safety cell, along with all the other smart car technology that contributes to smart car crash safety, really does protect you more than adequately.
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