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Scott Wendt

I am an American living in Europe. The idea that you can avoid an accident by driving a small car is completely false. The fact is that these cars are not as safe as Damlier-C claims. Even at 30mph the driver experiences extreme risk of chest injuries and the vehicle is lethal to children riding in the passenger seat. Indepenent tests here give it 3 of 5 stars and these tests are not close to what we would expect from a collision with a US city bus or any other vehicle for that matter. I have seen enough deaths here in Italy, without the large numbers of trucks and buses we have in the states, to consider banning these vehicles from US highways permanently. The only other alternative is to ban all trucks, vans, SUVs, school buses, and transit buses to make the highways safe for these toys. We all know our country is simply too big to get rid of all large vehicles! You can't haul oranges from FL to WA in a pickup truck! And consider parking in our cities if we got rid of the buses. Also, a SMART car only holds 2 people. How would that help car pooling when it would take 4 to 5 SMART cars to replace one van or SUV?
Here is a final thought for all dreamy headed SUV haters out there. I have driven in Paris, London, Rome, Naples, Madrid, Frankfort, Milan, and at least a dozen other medium sized cities around Europe since I have lived here, and I would rather sit on the 405 or Lake Shore Drive, or I-75, or I-95, or even the Big Dig for 2 hours every day than drive in any one of these cities overflowing with these little cars that swarm around you like cockroaches! (Anyone who has driven here in Naples knows what I mean.) Cars 6 across on a three lane highway. Drivers scraping their way onto the highway. Believe me when I say there should be a picture of these cars in every book under "Road Rage, cause of..."


Your sir are a SUV infaturated farthead who is hell bent on sitting in your damn large smog spewing scrap metal. SUV's are a damn obstacle on the road hindering other drivers sights. If you say that a Smart car is unsafe when hit by a bus your so called SUVs aren't safe either... anything hit by a bus let alone another bus is going to go rolling and rolling down the road and since SUVs are top heavy pieces of crap you can just enjoy your little tumble in the big hulk of waste it will end up as. As for it being lethal to children in the passenger seat that goes for the SUVs also especially the distance one of these children would cover after flying out your windshield.


As usual, the truth is probably somewhere between these extreme viewpoints.

Also, I heard a news story the other day about a Smart that was hit by a bus. It got stuck on the grill of the bus and the bus driver didn't notice it, in spite of the Smart driver trying to wave at him through the sun roof. I understood that the driver was unharmed. Yes, an SUV or 4x4 pickup would probably have rolled down the street. The driver and passengers may or may not have survived it, but I bet the bus driver would have noticed!


I would like to dispell some false notions about the Smart Fortwo- I think I can because I've driven one of these for the last 6 years. Not had any chance to try it in a crash test yet, but according to NCAP it is pretty good for its class.
There is plenty of space for passenger and driver; the lack of a back seat and relatively high roof make this possible. The Germans who designed it are a tall lot.
For the rest- once you get over the novelty it is a normal car minus a back seat.
I have driven it from Bath to Berlin and from Paris to Munchen. Goes fast enough to break any speed limit, fuel cosumption is just lovely, but the best thing about it is parking. All those parking spots that your car nearly, nearly fits into- well mine does. How cool is that?
If you live in the jungle and have a big family this is not the car for you, but as a city-dwelling single I could not have done any better, I think!

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