Most modern passenger vehicles are much safer than their predecessors. Despite their design improvements, however, 2.6 million people were injured and 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016—an average of 7,100 injured and 102 killed each day.
To help you avoid becoming one of these statistics two agencies in the United States perform laboratory crash testing using dummies to rate vehicle safety---so you can learn the risks before trusting a vehicle with your life. These tests reveal significant differences in crashworthiness among some vehicles. It is also not unusual for these agencies to arrive at opposing conclusions due to differences in test procedures and therefore it is necessary to see ratings from both agencies to confirm good crashworthiness.
In addition to crashworthiness the size and weight of your vehicle compared with others on the road is a critical factor determining your safety. A small, light-weight vehicle might perform well in crash tests, however, vehicle compatibility is independent of crash ratings and must be considered separately. This is best evaluated using fatality data correlations based on vehicle class/weight. These correlations illustrate that small and light-weight vehicles can result in four times higher driver fatality rates than larger passenger vehicles in multi-vehicle crashes.
So, how do you identify the safest vehicles?
STEP 1: Start with vehicles rated 5-stars overall by NHTSA then eliminate those rated less than 5-stars in any individual crash test or less than 4-stars in static rollover.
STEP 2: Next, identify vehicles rated Top Safety Pick by IIHS and eliminate those rated below "Superior" for frontal crash prevention system.
STEP 3: The vehicles appearing on both lists from steps 1 and 2 have the best possible crashworthiness ratings, however, due to differences in class/weight they are not all equivalently safe since the severity of collision forces you experience when impacted by another vehicle in a head-on crash is determined by the relative weight between the vehicles.
STEP 4: From the list of most crashworthy vehicles eliminate those of a class/weight known to result in driver fatality rates in multi-vehicle crashes that are greater than average..
Only one percent of vehicles remain after filtering out those that do not satisfy these criteria and are listed on this website.
I created this website to help consumers easily identify the safest vehicles.
by Mike Dulberger, Founder, InformedForLife.org
Every effort has been made to be accurate and objective, however all information
is subject to errors and omissions.
For Life is a Connecticut nonprofit organization
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