Are you driving a tin can?

Top Gear\'s technical editor demystifies the myth behind crumple zones
by Ferman Lao | Oct 11, 2009

To Mr. Ferman Lao,

I would just like to ask if the thickness of the sheet metal of cars are similar? Are sheet metal of cars like the Toyota Vios and Honda City similar to the Toyota Altis and Honda Civic ? I was just wondering as people say that subcompact cars are \"tin cans.\"

Thanks,

Arj

Hi Arj!

Modern cars, regardless of size, are built to conform to safety standards.

The safety standards require that there are crumple zones to absorb forces and minimize the impact experienced by the occupants of a car. These standards make it appear that modern cars seem more prone to damage. Unfortunately, this also means minor fender benders that used to not matter (as far as cosmetics are concerned) are going to be more expensive to fix.

Larger cars usually have more damping materials and insulation which will give the impression that they are built to be more sturdy. Remove them and they will also pretty much sound like \"tin cans\" save perhaps some.

No matter how safe car manufacturers build cars, however, they will never be safe enough in the hands of an idiot.

Best regards,

Ferman Lao

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