Motor Vehicle Safety: Top 10 Most Dangerous Vehicles

Author: Scott D. Fitzgerald, Richmond, VA Car Accident Attorney

We all know that driving or riding in a car can be dangerous, but there are some vehicles that are particularly worrisome. This article is designed to educate you about some of the most dangerous cars on the market today, as well as what exactly makes them unsafe compared to the competition. Compiled by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the following 10 vehicles garnered the lowest safety ratings, as measured by the number of fatalities per mile driven between 2006 and 2009[1]:

  1. Nissan 350Z
  2. Nissan Titan Crew Cab (extended cab)
  3. Chevrolet Aveo
  4. Chevrolet Cobalt
  5. Nissan Titan
  6. Kia Spectra
  7. Chevrolet Malibu
  8. Hyundai Tiburon
  9. Nissan Versa
  10. Chevrolet Colorado (extended cab)

These vehicles fall into two basic categories: pickup trucks with extended cabs and compact cars. The pickup trucks on the list are dangerous because the extended cab means that a back seat has been added, but this seat is usually small and cramped, which makes it unsafe in the event of an accident. The other category represented on the list  - small cars - are dangerous because of their size. Compact cars often do not fare well in collisions with larger vehicles; however, there is little that can be done without fundamentally changing their design.

However, all of these cars have safety problems not inherent in their design. For example, none of them have Electronic Stability Control, or ESC. Considered absolutely vital by modern safety standards, ESC helps prevents cars from rolling in the event of an accident. The top 27 ranked vehicles in the list of America's safest cars are all equipped with Electronic Stability Control.  There are a number of other safety features found on some cars but generally not those on this list.[2]

When you are shopping for your next vehicle, keep in mind that your decision can affect your safety and the safety of your loved ones in the event of an accident. Be on the lookout for cars that do not come equipped with safety features like ESC and avoid them if at all possible. By checking recent information about those vehicles most likely to be involved in crashes and those vehicles in which the occupants are most likely to be seriously injured or killed, you can make wiser choices about which vehicle you want to drive and which vehicle you want your family members ride in. [3]   You'll be glad you did if you are ever in a serious car accident.

About the Author: Scott is the fourth generation of the Allen family to join the Allen Law Firm and is the great grandson of the Firm's founder, George E. Allen, Sr. He is a personal injury attorney, handling cases in Richmond, VA across the state of Virginia including wrongful death, car accidents, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents. Scott is dedicated to protecting the best interests of his clients and defending their rights against insurance companies.

[1] See "Dying in a Crash", Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report, Vol. 46, No. 5, June 9, 2011, at  www.iihs.org/.
[2]  See "They're Working: Insurance Claims Data Show Which New Technologies Are Preventing Crashes", Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report, Vo. 47, No. 5, July 3, 2012, at  www.iihs.org/ .
[3] See "By the Numbers: Claims Information by Make and Model",  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Status Report, Vol. 47, No. 7, Sept. 20, 2012, at www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4707.pdf.
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