Are you driving a deadly vehicle?

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Came across an article by an American commentator comparing driver fatalities in differing vehicles.  He based the article on the records from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to compile and organize the statistics for crash deaths and the vehicles, but they are not current, covering model-year automobiles up to 2008.

The auto safety agency ran the stats on all vehicles with 100,000 registrations or more between 2006 and 2009, counting only the deaths of the driver (not passengers) in their statistics.  In the end, the IIHS calculated a ratio of “driver death per million registered vehicles.”

Now, before reading further, note that these are figures for America, not Thailand, and there can be differences in manufacturing design for similar models that were purchased or manufactured here.  Some of the models were also not sold in Thailand so I have omitted them.

Number 10 on the list was the Chevy Colorado Extended Cab.  The majority of deaths (54 per million) were the result of crashes involving no other vehicle.

Number 8 was the Hyundai Tiburon, and there are a few of these kicking around here.  Tiburon from model years 2005 through 2008 led to 96 fatalities per million registrations.  Some 63 deaths per million registrations involved single-vehicle crashes for drivers of the two-door Tiburon.

Number 5 was the Nissan Titan 2WD extended cab pickup from models years 2005 through 2008.  For every million registrations of the vehicle, 111 drivers met their deaths behind the wheel of a Titan, with a wide majority (77 per million registrations) occurring in single-vehicle crashes.

Number 3 was the Chevy Aveo four door.  The IIHS determined there were 119 driver deaths per million car registrations, split evenly between multiple-vehicle crashes and single-vehicle accidents.  The study also showed that smaller cars were the most dangerous for drivers, with the exception of poorly designed pickups.  SUVs composed the safest class of all.

Number 1 in the IIHS list was the two-door Nissan 350Z from model year 2005 to 2008.  143 deaths per million registrations were recorded for the Nissan 350Z drivers during the study period, with 90 deaths per million registrations occurring in single-vehicle crashes.

Although these figures are not totally relevant, what the statistics do show is that in an accidents you are better off in large vehicles (especially SUV’s) rather than small cars.  With our surge in small eco-car sales in the past two years, will we see an increased number of deaths in accidents?  My gut feeling is yes.