Smaller cars have higher rates of fatal crashes

It turns out when it comes to vehicle safety, bigger is definitely better. Research done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) over a three-year period found that smaller autos don't offer as much protection to drivers and passengers in collisions.

Most traffic fatality deaths occurred to those driving small and mini versions of cars like Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent sedans, the two autos with the highest death rates in collisions.

The study's lead researcher was not surprised by the results, saying, "We've always seen higher death rates in smaller cars. It's consistent." He added that he saw no safety benefits to purchasing smaller autos.

There were some outliers, however. Nissan's Titan Crew Cabs and Dodge Challengers — both large, solid vehicles — were listed in the top 10 for the most driver fatalities.

Nissan issued a statement that the company remained "committed to the safety and security of our customers and their passengers" and that they plan to "evaluate the data . . . to identify improvement opportunities."

Dodge's umbrella company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), gave its own statement, saying that "[a]ll FCA US vehicles meet or exceed federal safety standards."

The study focused on 2014 autos and their formerly issued equivalent models. Over 50 percent of the autos with the lowest fatality rates were mid-size vehicles or larger. There were 11 models that had no driver fatalities during the statistical period of 2012-2015. Two of those models were Jeep Cherokees and Mazda CX-9s.

Regardless of the results, given the perfect storm of circumstances, any vehicle can become a death trap for its occupants. If you are injured in an accident or have lost a beloved family member due to another driver's negligence or other factors, you have the right to pursue compensation through the Ohio civil court system.

Source: CBS News, "Mini and small cars have highest traffic deaths rates, IIHS report says," accessed June 23, 2017

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