A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that the chances of a driver being killed in a wreck while in a new car or light truck declined by more than one-third during the past three years. Nine vehicle models recorded no fatalities per million vehicle years, a huge improvement, considering eight years ago, no model had zero driver death rates.
Unfortunately, the good news is tempered by some bad. Although the safest models are getting safer, a huge gap still remains between the top safest vehicles and the riskiest models. In fact, three vehicles had fatality rates of more than 100 per million registered vehicle years.
The IIHS cites improved safety technology and motor vehicle design for higher safety rates. However, the researchers caution that our weak economy may have contributed to this positive trend.
To arrive at their figures, researchers examined how many drivers died in accidents involving a particular model during one year of operation and expressed their calculations in rate per million registered vehicle years. An average of 28 deaths per million registered vehicle years occurred in 2012, far lower than the 48 deaths per million registered vehicle years in 2008 through 2009 models.
SUVs Now Among The Safest Vehicles
Sports utility vehicles
used to have some of the highest death rates, primarily because of
their tendency to roll during an accident. Electronic stability control
has dramatically decreased incidents of rollover wrecks in SUVs. 2011
fatality rates were 5 deaths per million registered vehicle years, less
than 25 percent of death rates in 2004 model SUVs. With rollovers no
longer a substantial problem, the other qualities of an SUV, including
its larger size, heavier weight and greater height explain why SUVs have the lowest fatality rates of any type of vehicle on the road today.
Two-thirds of zero-death vehicles are SUVs.
Smaller Cars Had Higher Death Rates
With a few notable exceptions, death rates showed an inverse
relationship to vehicular size. Although smaller cars may be attractive
because of better gas mileage, several compact vehicle models also rated worst in safety. The 2011 Kia Rio mini-car had the highest death rate
among that year’s models with a frightening 149 driver deaths per
million registered vehicle years. The 2011 Nissan Versa sedan had 130
deaths per million registered vehicle years and the 2011 Hyundai Accent
Before buying a car, check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report on driver deaths. These 2011 models had zero driver deaths per million registered vehicle years:
- Audi A4 4WD
- Honda Odyssey
- Kia Sorento 2WD
- Lexus RX 350 4WD
- Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WD
- Subaru Legacy 4WD
- Toyota Highlander hybrid 4WD
- Toyota Sequoia 4WD
- Volvo XC90 4WD
Other vehicles also had superb safety ratings.
Call Bill Berenson If Your Loved One is Killed in a Car Crash
No vehicle can offer total protection in an accident. If you have suffered injuries or your loved one was killed in a car crash in Dallas-Fort Worth,
call my office to schedule a free consultation. You can reach me toll
free at 888-801-8585 or in the DFW area at 817-885-8000. I am here to