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Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and National Highway Safety Administration publish statistics on the fatality rates of vehicles in America. These statistics offer insight into the safest – and least safe – vehicles on the roads in and around Mobile.

The Trends

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data on fatality rates among vehicles in the 2014 model year (and equivalent vehicles in the 2012-2015 model years). Historically, small cars have been found to be the most dangerous on the road. The 2014 model year data continued this trend: of the ten vehicles with the highest fatality rates, five were mini cars and three were small cars. The historical data has consistently found that small cars simply do not afford the protection that large vehicles do during a collision.

The category of vehicle with the lowest overall fatality rate was luxury sport utility vehicles with four wheel drive. The Audi Q7, Jeep Cherokee, Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes Benz M Class all had fewer than eight driver deaths per million registered vehicles, and the four wheel drive models of these vehicles all had fewer deaths than their counterparts with two wheel drive.

In addition to the Insurance Institute study, another study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that newer model year vehicles were safer than older vehicles. The study demonstrated that the risk of a driver being fatally injured in an accident increased as the age of the vehicle being driven increased, and also in vehicles of earlier model years. It is worth noting that the study also found a correlation in the use of seat belts and surviving car accidents. The benefits of a newer model year vehicle were mostly negated when the driver was not restrained.

What This Means for Car Buyers

The data is clear: larger, newer vehicles offer the best chances of survival in a car accident. The safest strategy for car buyers would, therefore, be to buy a large sport utility vehicle with four wheel drive, and replace this vehicle every model year. Unfortunately, that strategy is simply not realistic for most car buyers.

A more realistic strategy which still promotes a driver’s chances of survival would be to buy the most safety he or she can afford. While a new vehicle every model year may not be realistic, choosing the newer of two used vehicles will make the driver safer on the road. Similarly, while a large SUV may not be affordable, choosing a large sedan over a mini car will improve the driver’s odds of surviving an accident.

Protecting the Legal Rights of Auto Accident Victims

For decades, car accident victims in and around the Mobile area have trusted the experienced of attorneys at Braswell Murphy LLC. Our professional, knowledgeable representation ensures that car accident victims are fairly compensated for their injuries and losses.

Alabama is a tort state, which means injured motorists are not required to first exhaust personal injury protection benefits before pursuing a claim for damages against the at-fault driver. Our Mobile injury lawyers can help you recover damages for:

  • Medical expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering.