According to the National Safety Council, more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017. While no vehicle can guarantee absolute safety to its drivers and passengers, there are features that can help limit injuries or loss of life in an accident. When buying a car for yourself or your family member, you want to do everything you can to make sure the vehicle is safe. In doing so, you consider available safety features and handling on the road. But should you also take the size of the vehicle into consideration?
Larger Vehicles are Generally Safer
It comes down to physics. The bigger and heavier a vehicle you drive, the more likely your injuries will be minimized in a collision. Larger vehicles have larger crumple zones and bigger hoods and are therefore better able to absorb the force of an impact. A study by the University of Buffalo found that in head-on crashes between cars and SUVs, the odds of death for the car driver was 7.6 times higher than that of the SUV driver. What you lose in gas mileage with a larger vehicle, you make up for in protection.
But Not Always
Regardless of size, you are better off driving a newer car than an older vehicle. A 10-year-old SUV is probably not as safe as a brand-new sedan. Newer cars have more safety features that can minimize your risk of even being in a collision, as well as protect vehicle occupants from injuries. Features like side airbags, brake assist, electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and blind spot indicators can go a long way toward preventing an accident.
Choosing a Safe Car
When choosing a car, it can be helpful to do your research. Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety ratings or search the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s safety rating database for detailed information on crash tests and top safety picks. While these ratings don’t compare across vehicle sizes, they can still be a helpful tool in determining the right vehicle for you.
Contact a Trusted Attorney
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident, whether you were in a small vehicle or a large vehicle, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.