Safety is a top priority for Pennsylvania car buyers. With so many choices available to consumers, it can be difficult to know which ones can make the difference between life and death in a car accident. The good news is that there is extensive vehicle safety data available. Savvy car buyers can use this data when choosing the safest possible vehicle to purchase.
The goal for our Hazelton accident attorneys is to promote safe driving, and to help those who have been victimized by careless motorists.
Large Vehicles are Safer than Small Vehicles: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data on fatality rates among vehicles in the 2014 model year (and equivalent vehicles in the 2012-2015 model years). Historically, small cars have been found to be the most dangerous on the road. The 2014 model year data continued this trend: of the ten vehicles with the highest fatality rates, five were mini cars and three were small cars. Meanwhile, the category of vehicle with the lowest overall fatality rate was large, luxury sport utility vehicles with four wheel drive. (Interestingly, the four wheel drive models had lower fatality rates than their two wheel drive counterparts.)
Research has consistently found that small cars simply do not afford the protection that large vehicles do during a collision. This is a physics lesson which many accident victims learn the hard way: in a collision, the smaller of the two vehicles will absorb a greater proportion of the impact.
New Vehicles are Safer than Older Vehicles: In another study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, newer vehicles were found to be safer than older vehicles. The study demonstrated that the risk of a driver being fatally injured in an accident increased as the age of the vehicle being driven increased. It is worth noting that the study also found a correlation in the use of seatbelts and surviving car accidents. The benefits of a newer model year vehicle were mostly negated when the driver was not restrained.
These findings have not been limited to the United States. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program also conducted a study which found new vehicles to be safer than older vehicles. This was demonstrated in both the Australian and New Zealand new vehicle fleets.
New Safety Features and Technologies: Backup cameras, crash warning sensors, electronic stability control, and many other technologies continue to improve and expand among new vehicle models. Unfortunately, these features are so new that there is not yet enough research to determine their efficacy. Jalopnik even reports on one study that found crashes to increase in vehicles with lane departure warning systems. Until there is a more extensive body of data, consumers are advised to carefully research and identify safety features which are best suited to their personal driving habits.