BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Apr 2010
Vehicle: 1988 300TE
Location: NY metro
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Here's my understanding of crash dynamics. If you hit an immovable object you take all the forces of the impact - so if you hit a tree, bridge, etc the heavier the car, the more force your body takes. Better to hit a tree or bridge in a light car as you're subject to less forces.
BUT, if you hit something moveable like another car you want to be in the heavier car as the crash forces transfer to the lighter object.
Then you have to add to the formula things that dissipate the forces like crumple zones, seat belt pretensioners, webbed belts that stretch, 3 point v. 2 point belts (shoulder/lap belt v. lap belt), air bags. It's not only getting crushed, it's also deceleration forces on your internal organs.
Small modern cars often have more features to dissipate deceleration forces than do older large cars. So it's a matter of what the other object is in the crash & how your vehicle protects you from decleration & crush forces. I notice several people saying how they were saved because of their big car, then they say the driver of the small car climbed out. So in reality, the small car actually did a better job through science vs. just using bulk to protect the driver.
The driver of the small car gets a new car, the MB driver gets a rebuilt car with a tarnished CarFax.
Which is better? That's a personal choice. I choose MB because it's so much more enjoyable day to day & will protect me in a crash, but the small car likely could stop shorter & swerve tighter to avoid a crash in the first place. Toyota v. MB - each have different strengths, to blindly say one is safer shows a lack of understanding.