Among late-model vehicles, tiny cars and also minicars remain the most dangerous, follow to new driver death rates calculate by Nearly half of the 20 models v the lowest death rates are deluxe SUVs.

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May 28, 2020


Despite manufacturers’ initiatives to make them safer, the the smallest late-model cars remain the many dangerous, according to the most recent driver death rates calculation by the Insurance institute of Highway Safety.

Small cars and also minicars accounted for 15 of the 20 models through the highest death rates for version year 2017, while nearly fifty percent of the 20 models with the lowest death rates were deluxe SUVs.

“Smaller vehicles offer less protection because that the driver in crashes, and also their lighter mass means that they take it the brunt of collisions with larger vehicles,” states Joe Nolan, an elderly vice president of auto research.

Very big SUVs have the lowest overall death rate of any type of vehicle group with 15 fatalities per million registered auto years. Minicars have actually the greatest at 82.

The average driver death rate for all 2017 models increased to 36 deaths, compared with 30 for 2014 models. It is a further increase native a low of 28 because that 2011 models adhering to a steady decrease since the 1970s. The climb is regular with a larger number of U.S. Website traffic fatalities over the four-year period covered through this study, contrasted with the ahead one. Indigenous 2015 to 2018 there to be 147,324 fatalities, compared with 134,905 from 2012 to 2015.

The death rates because that 2017 models differ widely from 0 for 7 models to 141 because that the worst performer, the 2017 Ford Fiesta, a 4-door minicar the earned a rating of “marginal” in the driver-side small overlap crash test. Consisting of the Fiesta, fifty percent the 2017 models through the highest death rates were also among the worst for model year 2014, the last time looked at the data. has been calculating driver fatality rates roughly every three years due to the fact that 1989. The rates encompass only driver deaths because all vehicles ~ above the road have drivers, yet not all of them have passengers or the same number of passengers. The variety of deaths is obtained from the federal Fatality evaluation Reporting System. Registration data come indigenous IHS Markit.

Alongside auto safety ratings, driver death rates are another source of details consumers deserve to use to educate their to buy decisions.

The two varieties of information match each other. ratings room designed to to compare vehicles in the exact same size category. Frontal crash test results can’t it is in compared throughout sizes due to the fact that the kinetic energy connected in the test boosts with car weight.

In contrast, the driver fatality rates have the right to be compared across vehicle classes. However, together a comparative tool, they have their very own limitations. While the fatality rates are changed for driver age and gender, they don’t capture other determinants that might influence fatality rates, such together the speeds world drive, the number of miles they travel per day and the species of roads they use. 

To look in ~ the effect of among those factors, this year additionally compared the driver death rates per 10 billion mile traveled. Through a cooperative agreement in place because 2015, the Highway loss Data Institute had the ability to match auto Identification number from that database to odometer readings native CARFAX, an IHS Markit unit that maintains a vehicle history database. Odometer readings come from many sources, consisting of title transfers, yearly inspections and routine maintenance service.

For the many part, the purpose of use data bolstered the original findings about vehicle size and explained some significant exceptions.

Sports cars and also luxury cars, which traveled fewer miles every year than other models, confirmed relatively higher driver fatality rates through the alternate method. Death rates because that pickups trended lower by miles driven.

Within each automobile category, the stimulate of separation, personal, instance vehicles go not adjust much. Because that this reason, has decided to stick with the usual registration-year technique for the released make and model results.

By that method, nine of the 20 models with the lowest fatality rates are high-end SUVs, two more are midsize deluxe cars, and four others space minivans or very big SUVs. The overall death prices for luxury vehicles are also substantially reduced than the averages for nonluxury vehicles that the same sizes.

Luxury vehicles regularly come fitted with advanced safety features that aren’t widely set up on less expensive ones, such as blind spot warning and also lane departure prevention.

Notably, two tiny cars defy the mean for your size and class, even if it is driver death rates room measured versus registered car years or miles traveled. The Volkswagen Golf and the Nissan sheet have fatality rates of 0 and also 5 per million registered car years, respectively. Their prices per 10 billion miles to be the same. Because that comparison, the as whole rate for little cars to be 61 deaths per million auto years and 45 every 10 exchange rate miles.

The Golf’s outcomes are specifically remarkable, since the 2014 variation was amongst the worst performers, with a fatality rate that 63 per million automobile years, prior to a redesign because that the 2015 model year.

Although the variety of miles propelled was not a factor, the outcomes for the Leaf, one all-electric car, may reflect when and also where electric vehicles space driven.

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The latest rates are based upon fatalities that arisen from 2015 to 2018 because that vehicles indigenous the 2017 version year, and also earlier models v the same designs and also features. The numbers stand for the estimated dangers for 2017 models, however the data incorporate models from together far back as 2014 if the vehicles have actually not been dramatically redesigned over the intervening period. Consisting of these older, tantamount vehicles provides the sample size larger and therefore boosts the reliability of the results. To it is in included, a automobile must have had actually at least 100,000 registered automobile years that exposure native 2015 come 2018 or at least 20 deaths.