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HEALTH NEWS: Car safety crash tests

How safe is your car?
If you drive a subcompact or a minicar, you may want to double-check.

Of the eleven such cars included in a recent crash test, only one did reasonably well.
The test involves a vehicle going 40 miles an hour, hitting something on the side of it's front bumper, such as a lamp post.
   
It concentrates the force on an area of the car outside the crash safety features built on most cars.
   
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the Chevy Spark as "Acceptable" and none of the cars as good.
   
Six cars basically failed -- receiving the institute's lowest rating: "poor."

Those cars were the Nissan Versa, the Toyota Prius C, the Hyundai Accent, the Mitsubishi Mirage, the Fiat 500, and the Honda fit.
   
The institute considered the performance of the Kia Rio, the Mazda-2, the Toyota Yaris, and the Ford Fiesta, "marginal."
   
Some automakers whose cars faired poorly pointed out their cars were designed before this particular crash test and that they expect future designs to perform much better.