More than 37,000 lives were claimed as a result of fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It's because of stats like this that new car buyers in California often give preference to vehicles with accident avoidance systems and other safety features. However, there are certain vehicles naturally more likely to be involved in life-claiming accidents than others.
Researchers recently compiled data from the Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System on fatal collisions to determine which vehicles are the deadliest on the road. Not surprisingly, the list consists entirely of either small cars or sport coupes. This is likely because smaller vehicles provide less protection during impacts than their heavier and larger counterparts. Sports cars, which have the highest fatal accident rate, are built for speed, which tends to encourage more aggressive driving.
Nearly three fatalities per billion vehicle miles was the average for all vehicles on the "deadliest cars" list. This figure was nearly double for subcompact cars like the Mitsubishi Mirage, which tops the list when going by specific models. Passenger cars also have a higher fatality rate than larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs. Even among SUVs, compact and subcompact models have the highest deadly crash rates within this segment, suggesting size matters when it comes to accident risk. With sports cars, the Kia Sportage tops the list. The mid-size Nissan Frontier has the highest fatal accident rate among pickup trucks.
When a crash leads to a personal injury claim, a car accident attorney usually focuses on the actions of the at-fault driver. Under certain circumstances, however, the manufacturer may be considered one of the responsible parties if there is evidence suggesting vehicle flaws contributed to an accident.