The number of fatal car crashes in the United States is dropping in part because cars are being made to better withstand crash impacts. However, some vehicles continue to have comparatively high rates of fatalities, according to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety.
The Institute periodically publishes a list of the passenger vehicle makes and models with the most driver deaths, and the good news for drivers is that the number of vehicles with more than 100 driver fatalities per 1 million registered vehicle years (one vehicle registered for one year) dropped to three for vehicles through the 2011 model year from six in the report covering vehicles through the 2009 model year. Nine vehicles on the list of 2011 models had zero fatalities — which the Institute said was a record.
The three vehicles on the most current list with fatality rates greater than 100 per 1 million registered vehicle years were the Kia Rio, Nissan Versa, and Hyundai Accent — all of which are small passenger cars. The Kia Rio had the highest rate, with 149 deaths per 1 million registered vehicle years. The Nissan Versa had 130 deaths per 1 million registered vehicle years, and the Hyundai Accent had 120 deaths per 1 million registered vehicle years.
According to the report that includes the list, the smallest vehicles on the road tend to have the highest death rates. Small cars or minicars tend to offer less protection to drivers by virtue of their small size and low weight.
By contrast, the nine vehicles with zero fatalities included six sport utility vehicles. SUVs in general have the lowest rate of driver fatalities since designs have been improved to reduce the risk of rollover and increase stability. Additionally, larger vehicles tend to offer more protection to drivers because of their size, the Institute said.
However, regardless of vehicle size, the average rate of driver fatalities for all cars has dropped over the last couple of decades, from 143 per 1 million registered vehicle years in 1990 to 65 in 2012. Regardless of vehicle size, drivers stand a better chance at avoiding fatal crashes today than they did 20 or 25 years ago.
The lawyers at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. have experience with getting crash victims the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured, call us today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation.