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Are Bigger Cars Really Safer in a Car Accident?

iStock_000000823959LargeWhen selecting a vehicle, there are many factors to consider. In addition to available safety features offered by automobile manufacturers, the size and weight of a vehicle can affect its safety performance. Many people believe that bigger cars are safer in a car accident than smaller, compact cars. Is this really true?

The laws of physics dictate that a collision between two vehicles of varying sizes, the larger of the two will be favored. Consumer Reports has conducted studies that show that car occupants stand a 7.6 times higher risk of being killed than do SUV occupants if the two vehicles collide head-on. Car occupants fared only a little better in similar crashes where the car scored a better crash-test rating than the SUV did.

Researchers examined data from more than 83,000 severe head-on collisions. They surmised that, at least in head-on crashes, vehicle type played a more significant role in occupant safety than did the vehicle’s crash-test rating.

However, you don’t necessarily have to drive an SUV to reap the benefits of a larger vehicle. Studies performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), involving a minicar and a midsize model from the same manufacturer, demonstrate how additional size and weight of a vehicle can favorably influence the protection of occupants during a crash. Additionally, the IIHS tests show how poorly smaller cars, in general, protect vehicle occupants during a crash.

While the compact cars offer greater affordability, and have increased fuel efficiency, the safety trade-offs are apparent. The Institute states plainly that as auto manufacturers decrease the size of their vehicles, they are also undermining the safety of the vehicles.

Selecting a Safe Car

While larger vehicles do fare better than small ones in most collisions, it does not necessarily mean lighter cars are inherently unsafe. Automobile manufacturers are making all their vehicles safer than ever, subsequently reducing crash-related deaths to an all-time low. When choosing an automobile for safety, consider the following criteria:

  • Up-to-date safety features such as anti-lock brakes, curtain airbags, and stability control
  • One that has performed well in dynamic crash tests

However, the most important safety feature of any vehicle is an attentive, sober driver that is buckled up and driving at an appropriate speed.

Contact Contact Colorado Springs Car Accident Attorneys

colorado springs wrongful death attorney greg greenCar accidents can be life altering. A serious accident can leave a person unable to work, unable to enjoy the fullest quality of life, or even result in death. The lawyers at the Green Law Firm understand the anxiety caused by a car accident, and will be there to assist you every step of the way. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have legal rights. Yet, enforcing these rights may present some challenges. We are equipped to overcome these challenges.

If you have been injured in a car accident in Colorado Springs, contact the experienced Colorado Springs car accident attorneys at the Green Law Firm today to schedule a no-obligation consultation and discuss your case. Call us today at 1-719-694-8515.