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Crash-test comparison proves how much safer small cars are today

What do 20 years' worth of improvements bring you? A really neat video, for one thing.


Modern cars are significantly safer than their forebears. If you don't believe me, you can watch 20 years of crash testing to prove it.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP), the safety group released a video showing the differences between a 1997 Rover 100 and a 2017 Honda Jazz, otherwise known as the Fit. Even after the first crash, it's clear how far we've come in 20 years.

From modern crumple zones and airbags to the use of different metals within the chassis, vehicles these days are engineered from the ground up to be safer in a collision. And brakes, tires and other components are more capable of helping drivers prevent collisions, too.

Over the course of two decades, Euro NCAP has spent more than $170 million testing nearly 1,800 vehicles. The group claims its safety tests, and the adjustments manufacturers make to improve test scores, have saved more than 78,000 lives.