Somehow came across this:
Are Tiny, Gas-Saving Cars Unsafe? Today Mine Saved My Life
I rolled my Toyota Yaris three times this morning after hitting a six-foot-high dirt embankment at highway speed. I crawled out with no more than a bump on my head, seat belt burn, and a massively stiff neck. So, for all you small car safety-doubters out there, I’ve now got personal experience to say otherwise.
The writer says that after this experience he believes small cars are as safe (or even safer) than larger vehicles and that he would have no trouble trusting the lives of his family to a small fuel-efficient car.
The problem here, of course, is that the writer’s one personal experience, which even he describes as “miraculous,” is not enough data to draw a meaningful conclusion from. If someone knows a person who had one accident in a small car and was killed, would that mean that small cars are a 100% guarantee of death? No, of course it wouldn’t. In the same way, this one incident does not really prove anything about the safety of the Toyota Yaris.
While I’m certainly glad that the writer was fine after his accident, I don’t think that any sort of point has been proven. And to take his opinion as a guide for legislation or safety requirements to be applicable to other people would be irresponsible.
I once heard an argument very similar to this from a guy who refused to wear a helmet when he drove motorcycle. He had experienced what was basically a “miraculous” survival after spilling his bike without a helmet and refused to wear one. Without getting into details, a later accident didn’t end so well and I had the unfortunate luck to be kneeling in a pool of his blood at 2AM one morning waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It got there quickly, but not nearly quickly enough.
People have survived falls from airplanes without parachutes. That doesn’t mean parachutes are a vastly overrated safety device and we’d be fine jumping without them.