Did You See This?

The Terrifying Differences in Car Safety in Different Countries

American versus Mexican Nissans.

Cars in Mexico don’t have to meet the same safety standards as American cars, and this video from the International Institute for Highway Safety shows what a horrifying difference that can make. It’s a head-on collision between an American 2016 Nissan Versa—which has airbags—and a Mexican 2015 Nissan Tsuru, which doesn’t. Both are the least expensive Nissans sold in their countries, but the Tsuru’s crash test dummy doesn’t stand a ghost of a chance.

Since 1998, airbags have been mandatory equipment on all new cars built for the American market. But because some U.S. car companies now build their vehicles in Mexico, the cars’ safety features depend on the market for which they’re intended. This means that, for example, General Motors and Nissan cars built in Mexico for American drivers are much safer than those intended for Mexican streets. For Mexican and Latin American drivers, cars aren’t required to have more than two airbags, if any, and they don’t have to have antilock braking systems or electronic stability control.