The smallest cars on U.S. roads come with the greatest injury risk, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash test results
The Chevrolet Spark earned an acceptable rating, the only minicar out of 11 tested to receive passing marks in the "small overlap front crash test." The group was the worst-performing of any of the groups evaluated.
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The Spark scored well in the Institute's four other "crashworthiness" evaluations, and earned the new minicar a "2014 Top Safety Pick" award.
In the crash test, the car hits a barrier with the front driver's side corner traveling at 40 miles per hour, which simulates clipping another car head-on or hitting a tree or pole.
"We're geeked," Chevrolet spokeswoman Annalisa Bluhm told USA Today
about the results. She added that improvements for the U.S. debut of the car.
The Honda Fit, Nissan Versa, Toyota Prius c, Hyundai Accent, Mitsubishi Mirage, and Chrysler Group's Fiat 500 received "poor" ratings. The Ford Fiesta, Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio and Mazda 2 secured "marginal" ratings.
"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage," Joe Nolan, a senior vice president for the institute, the safety arm of the insurance industry, said in a statement.
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