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SAFETY | 6 out of 10
No stability control or side airbags
Unlike early Vipers, anti-lock brakes are standard
Kelley Blue Book
Dual front airbags
If safety is one of your chief concerns--or any sort of concern at all--when shopping for a sportscar, the 2008 Dodge Viper is probably not for you. The Dodge Viper 2008 offers hardly anything in the way of safety features, and it doesn't have any crash-test data to rely on either, thanks to its low production volumes.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)--the two main crash-test authorities in the United States--have had an opportunity to test the 2008 Dodge Viper due to its high price tag and limited production run. In the absence of hard crash-test data, prospective Dodge Viper buyers will have to rely on the race-inspired engineering of the 2008 Dodge Viper to keep them safe in the event of an accident.
In most other vehicles that don't offer crash-test ratings, the list of safety features provides some degree of comfort, but that's not the case in the Dodge Viper 2008 edition. Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Dodge Viper makes available very little in the way of safety tech. Cars.com summarizes the safety amenities on the Dodge Viper 2008 by writing that "available safety features include all-disc antilock Brembo brakes and adjustable pedals"--covering all the safety features they found in one sentence. ConsumerGuide does add that "dual front airbags" come standard, but Edmunds notes that "no stability control or side airbags" are included. The 2008 Dodge Viper ACR is even scarier, and Car and Driver reports that the owner's manual advises that drivers "complete a high-performance driving school prior to operating this vehicle."
Another aspect of the 2008 Dodge Viper that hurts overall safety is driver visibility, which Cars.com says is hindered by the fact that "the trunklid, head restraints and roll bars are pretty high" in the convertible, "so it's tough to see behind you by turning your head," but reviewers there find it is "workable through prodigious use of the rearview mirrors." The poor visibility is also one of the reasons that many reviewers, such as those at Edmunds, find that the Viper is "not comfortable enough to be used as a daily driver."
Though there's no crash-test data or real safety features to speak of, the 2008 Dodge Viper at least can stop in a hurry if you see an obstacle ahead.