While safety is a primary concern to car buyers, one thing is certain: cars are not created equally. In fact, over 32,000 people die in car accidents every year.
There are a number of things that you can do to avoid becoming one of these statistics, the first and most important is buying a safe car.
The cars that score worst in testing have caused as many as 100 fatalities per million cars on the road. There are a number of vehicles, though, that saw no deaths in over three years.
The 9 Safest Vehicles
The nine models that boasted a zero death rate include the: Volvo XC90 4WD, the Toyta Sequoia 4WD, Toyta Highlander Hybrid 4WD, Audi A4 4 WD, Kia Sorento 2WD, Lexus RX 350 4WD, Honda Odyssey, Subaru Legacy 4WD and the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WD.
When this study was conducted 8 years previous not a single vehicle had a death rate of zero. The improvements are coming from safety advocate pushing to reduce traffic deaths, as well as from technological advances in the vehicles.
We may be decades away from eradicated traffic deaths altogether, and we may need road design and policy changes in addition to vehicle improvements. However, with the rise in vehicles boasting zero driver deaths we have a clearer picture of what is possible.
The Short List
It’s difficult to single out just one vehicle when 9 can make the same claims. So we decided it would be more fair to detail the strongest 3 contenders.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers the best of Toyota- green, reliable, and super safe. There’s the rear parking sensors, blind spot monitor, and rear cross traffic alert. Upgrades are available to include lane departure alert, automatic high beam headlights, safety connect, and radar cruise control with a pre collision system.
The Audi A4 has a standard safety list a mile long. Traction control systems, electronic stability, four-wheel anti-lock brakes with brake assist, overhead curtain airbags, front side impact airbags, and tire pressure monitor. Not forgetting the Side Assist blind spot monitoring, parking assist, adaptive cruise control, and the rear outboard side impact airbags.
The Volvo XC90 has been one of the IIHS’ top safety picks for several years on the trot. It comes with a laundry list of safety features, including seatbelt pre-tensioners. What’s that? They automatically tighten seatbelts, which places the occupant in the optimal seating position to avoid serious injury in the event of a collision. The head rests are anti-whiplash, too.
We are certainly living in unique times, when there are a number of vehicles to choose from that boast death rates of zero. When you consider that less than a decade ago no car could offer such a claim, what is certain is that the technological advances are making a massive difference in the safety of vehicles.
In days gone by it was all about creating structurally safe vehicles to ensure that in the event of an accident injuries would be limited. This amazing safety automobile article was brought to you by the leaders in Gap insurance – http://www.click4gap.co.uk. For more information on gap insurance and receiving the best quote should visit the website above. However, car manufacturers are just as focused on building cars that can help prevent accidents from every occurring.
Sue and I took a tour of the Tesla Model S factory in Fremont, CA today. This is the old NUMMI plant. If you haven't heard the NUMMI story between GM & Toyota, and you're a car buff, there's a This American Life episode about it that's just mind blowing. The net of it is that GM tried to learn Just In Time assembly practices from Toyota, they built a factory together for Toyota to transfer this know-how to GM, and GM completely blew it. The factory shut down and was sitting idle after that fiasco.
When Elon Musk was looking for a place to build his new Model S sedan, he approached Toyota with a $50MM bid for it, which Toyota accepted. Why would Toyota sell a car production plant arguably worth $1 billion or more for $50MM? For the answer to that, you really have to understand the relationship between Musk and Toyota, which is well portrayed in this 2010 WIRED magazine article.
As a reservation holder for the Model S, I'm proud to support one of the most amazing entrepreneurs of our generation. What makes Elon even more amazing is that he's not only revolutionizing the automobile industry, but the space industry as well, with SpaceX... at the same time. Elon, my hat is off to you.
Below are a number of pictures and vidoes of the factory and the event, which was very well done.
Heavier vehicles are safer for their own occupants but more hazardous for the occupants of other vehicles. In this paper we estimate the increased probability of fatalities from being hit by a heavier vehicle in a collision. We show that, controlling for own-vehicle weight, being hit by a vehicle that is 1,000 pounds heavier results in a 47% increase in the baseline fatality probability.
My version of the decisions