The cars we drive today are safer than ever before, and that’s largely the result of improved features, changes in infrastructure, policy, driver awareness and driver behaviour. If you’re investing in a car, you might find yourself wondering whether one category is safer than another. We’ve put together this helpful information to show that a larger car might be a safer option for you and your family.
Bigger Or Smaller - What's Safer?
Using size categories of vehicles to evaluate death rates, research has concluded that driver death rates are higher in smaller vehicles. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) issued a report considering cars, minivans, SUVs and trucks, and this showed that the largest-size four-door sedan or hatchback attributed to 36 deaths per 10 billion miles, the smallest size reported over double this number at 78 deaths. And findings are similar if we look at SUVs, with drivers almost four times as likely to die in a smaller SUV than one classified as large.
This research also showed that only 20 vehicles recorded fewer than nine driver deaths per million registered vehicle years. Among these 20 vehicles, four were classified as small. Of the 20 models recording the highest death rates, 15 were classified as small. These findings consistently show that larger vehicles are, in general, safer ones.
So What Makes A Larger Vehicle Safe?
A heavier vehicle tends to carry more momentum than one that’s smaller and lighter. Force of impact is largely contributed to by kinetic energy, which factors in the mass and velocity of a vehicle. When a multi-car accident occurs, lighter cars will experience the effects of the energy caused by deceleration.
What About An SUV Or A Ute?
SUVs, utes and trucks tend to fare well on the roads, with an average fatality rate of 18 per 10 billion miles.
With all these statistics, you might be curious about the most dangerous vehicle category. It’s the mini four-door. This category of vehicle is responsible for 78 deaths per 10 billion miles. If we look once more at SUVs, small two-wheel-drive luxury models record 40 deaths, compared to the 23 deaths per 10 billion miles recorded with the most dangerous utility vehicles, large two-wheel-drive models.
The IIHS report found minivans recorded fewer fatalities than other vehicle categories – responsible for 15 driver deaths per 10 billion miles. The reason? Perhaps it’s due to the weight of a minivan, but as many minivan drivers are parents, they may just tend to be safer in general.
Regardless of the car you drive, proper maintenance and safe operation are crucial to keeping you, your family and other drivers safe.
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