Safety has been one of the top priorities while developing the TriTrack. The TriTrack is very lightweight. Unloaded and without the battery mule, it is 400 lbs, with the battery it is less than 1,200 lbs. The reason why we can keep the TriTrack so lightweight compared to traditional cars is that it is built like an airplane. The strength of the structure is in the outer honeycomb shell rather than in a heavy steel frame. New technologies are worthless if they don’t protect what’s most important. That’s why safety is the most important part of the efficient vehicle design. Our impact resistant composite safety cage, which acts like a cocoon around passengers, is at the core of every TriTrack. Additionally, TriTrack composites are strong and tough, so they are less likely to crush during impact. In fact, our composites distribute the force across the body instead of bending like steel during an accident. Lighter the vehicle less damage it makes in case of the accident compared to heavier vehciles as the same speed.
TriTrack is designed to be a highly efficient, very safe car. But an assumption many people make is that a small, lighter car is less safe and that a big, heavy SUV is more safe. Wrong. In a 2004 New Yorker article Malcolm Gladwell completely demolishes, so to speak, this assumption. In Big and Bad: How the SUV ran over automobile safety he shows that while an SUV may be safer if you run head-on into something (“passive safety”), the problem is the trouble a heavy vehicle has in accident avoidance (“active safety”), ie, swerving and stopping. As he says, “The beneﬁts of being nimble – of being in an automobile that’s capable of staying out of trouble – are in many cases greater than the beneﬁts of being big.” This concept is backed up by research: in An Analysis of Traffic Deaths by Vehicle Type and Model scientists from Michigan and Berkeley conclude “…utility vehicles (SUVs) are not necessarily safer for their drivers than cars; on average they are as risky as the average midsize or large car, and no safer than many of the most popular compact and subcompact models” and that “when one considers the combined risk, including those killed in the other vehicle in two-vehicle crashes, then the safest subcompact and compact models are actually safer than the average SUV”. Perhaps the most interesting concept in Big and Bad is the importance of an awareness of your surroundings – and your own vulnerability – that comes with a small or normal-sized car, compared with the feeling of invulnerability an SUV conveys: “Jettas are safe because they make their drivers feel unsafe. S.U.V.s are unsafe because they make their drivers feel safe. That feeling of safety isn’t the solution; it’s the problem.”