According to insurance claim statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), smaller and lighter cars were more likely to be involved in accidents with more personal injury claims than larger cars. One general reason for this is that small cars don't provide their occupants with the same level of protection as larger cars. The larger the car, the more it can withstand the force of a crash. A smaller, lighter car is more likely to roll over or suffer extreme damage than a larger, sturdier car when involved in an accident, increasing the risk of a fatality or serious injury such as a brain or spinal cord injury.
The IIHS compiled insurance claim data from car accidents in 2014-2016 to find which types of cars had the most personal injury insurance claims. The average accident score for a car was 100. Four-door micro cars had the highest claim score at 215, more than double the industry average. Minicars scored 174, small four-door cars came in at 146 and midsize sedans were not far above the average at 138. Luxury SUVs came next, well below the average with a score of 55. The type of vehicle with the lowest number of personal injury claims were very large pickup trucks, which scored 45.
Forbes Magazine recently released a list of the cars with the highest number of insurance claims. At the top of that list was the Mitzubishi Lancer, with 215 claims, followed by the Nissan Versa and the Kia Rio Sedan, both with 185 claims.
Safety features don't completely eradicate human error
The auto industry has made some wonderful advancements in safety features on cars in recent years. This includes features such as lane departure warning systems and backup cameras. While these and other features have helped reduce the rate of accidents, most crashes are caused by human error. When drivers are distracted for any reason - if they look down to change a radio station, or if they are texting as they are driving - their chances of an accident increases drastically, regardless of the safety features available in their car. By recognizing which types of cars are more likely to be involved in an accident, we can incorporate safeguards for the future.
Some of the cars with the highest rate of personal injury insurance claims every year also are the most affordable and therefore more likely to be purchased by new or inexperienced drivers. The combination of inexperience and a lack of safety features can spell disaster on the roads.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, regardless of the models of the cars involved, contact Nelson Langer Engle. Our Seattle car accident lawyers have the tools and experience to help you get back on your feet and back on the road.