I own and drive a mini John Cooper Works. My buddy got hit by an 18 wheeler going about 35mph in the rear while driving his Mini Coops S. Totaled the car but he walked away from that. I cannot speak for the smart fortwo, but the mini is unbelievably strong. I don't think the real question is whether they're safe in principal, but whether they are safe around SUV's and drivers who might not see them. I've had a few scary moments with distracted SUV drivers changing lanes. I think they're safe.