Each day, car accidents in Davie and across the state result in serious spinal cord injuries, fractures, head injuries, fatalities, and other injuries. Could the type of car determine how badly you are hurt in a traffic accident in Davie or your community? According to research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the answer is yes. IIHS representative Russ Rader said that some cars, especially sub-compact cars fare well on safety tests but in real life are more likely to result in insurance injury claims in the event of a car accident.
Rader noted that today’s smaller, lighter cars have more safety features and are safer than similar models of years past. Nevertheless, he says, in a collision, physics and weight matter more. In a collision between a smaller car and a larger car, the passengers in the larger car are more likely to enjoy more protection – including larger crumple zones – which protect them in the event of a crash.
According to Rader, in a head-on car accident, the larger car will push the smaller car back. This will reduce crash forces for occupants of the larger, heavier vehicle while increasing the crash forces for those in the smaller car. This is seen all the time in truck accidents in Davie and across the nation – smaller cars simply have no chance against much larger vehicles. Even in cases where the size and weight difference is not as extreme, the difference counts.
Research by Insure.com supports these findings. Insure.com recently compiled a list of safest cars based on rates of for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Medical Payments (MedPay). Cars with higher rates had the higher costs because more people were making injury claims with these cars in the event of an accident. Even in cases where a car had good safety ratings, it could still end up with higher real-life injury rates. According to Insure.com, the top five cars that fared best when it came to protecting passengers from injuries were generally larger models:
1. GMC Sierra 1500 (SLE, SLT and Work Truck)
2. Porsche Cayenne
3. GMC Yukon (Denali and SLT)
4. GMC Sierra 2500 SLE
5. GMC Terrain SLE1
The five cars that fared worst, according to Insure.com, tended to be smaller:
1. Fiat 500 (Lounge, CLounge, Sport, Pop and CPop)
2. Kia Rio 5 (LX and SX)
3. Toyota Corolla L
4. Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart
5. Mercedes-Benz CL600
No matter what kind of car you drive, safety experts agree that there is much that you can do to make your vehicle safer for you. For example, start by choosing a car that has good safety ratings and feels comfortable for you. Secondly, get required maintenance on the vehicle so that it responds as you expect it to. Make sure that you outfit your car with any extra safety devices you need. These may be an issue if you have health problems or mobility issues that prevent you from operating a car safely. And don’t forget the most important safety feature of all: your seat belt. You should always wear your seatbelt, even if you are going for a very short drive or just parking the car. Accidents can happen at any time.