When thinking of muscle cars, safety is typically not the first thought. We think about speed, thrill, speed, excitement, and danger with these vehicles, and it shows. Muscle cars have higher insurance rates, increased scrutiny by police, and are involved in a higher proportion of collision. People don’t think about this when buying these cars. Yet with all these risks, are car manufacturers doing all they can to preserve the riders? You would think that a type of car that experiences increased instances of high speed collisions would have beefed up safety measures to protect the driver, but do they? The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has found the leading models to be lacking.
IIHS put the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, and Ford Mustang through the crash course to stack them up against more typical cars and each other. While the Mustang outperformed the others when it came to safety, none of them were able to secure the IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK. The Camaro lacks available front crash prevention system, and unexceptional roof strength. The Challenger had immediately concerning results. In the Small Overlap Frontal Crash Test, where the vehicle is crashed into a wall’s edge with a point of impact at about the driver’s side headlights, the driver’s side front wheel was pushed back into the foot well. The crash test dummy could not be extracted without removing its foot.
The takeaway from this test was that while the Mustang and Camaro achieved good results, but not exceptional, the Challenger had a severe fault in a crash test that accounts for 25% of real world frontal collisions. We all want to have some fun, and muscle cars certainly offer that, but do not forget to consider safety ratings when shopping for a performance vehicle. It could be the difference that keeps you alive to enjoy many more rides.