The difference is cringe-worthy.
A new video released by the European New Car Assessment Program lays bare just how far automotive safety has come in last 20 years.
The Euro NCAP is the agency responsible for vehicle safety testing for the European Union, similar to the US's National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released the clips on the occasion of its star rating system's 20th anniversary this year.
They show a stark difference between the crash test results of a two typical compacts spanning two decades in a 40 mph frontal offset collision. Representing a one-star 1997 car is a Rover 100, while a new Honda Jazz (known as the Fit in the US) shows what a 5-star car in 2017 can do.
Needless to say, the Honda's occupants fare far better. For one, the Rover is equipped with only one airbag for the driver. The Honda has airbags for both driver and passenger, as well as two side curtain airbags on either side.
Beyond that, however the Honda's cabin is barely disrupted, with doors and roof panel seemingly in tact thanks to crumple zones, higher tensile steel and energy dissipation construction. On the Rover, the UK impact pushes the engine and cowl deep into the cabin and compresses the cowl, roofline and doors. Occupants in the front would have probably sustained severe injury to their lower extremities.
The video concludes with a heartening statistic: You are now twice as likely to walk away from a crash today than in 1997.