Some vehicles are higher risk than others for less obvious reasons. The death rate of the Nissan 350Z is double that of the average sports car. At first glance you might think the car is at fault. However, upon closer inspection, the death rate is higher because the drivers of these cars tend to be younger, less experienced drivers with a higher likelihood of being involved in a collision and require high risk auto insurance. It’s important to look at a vehicle’s safety features to see how dangerous it truly is.
Having proper side-impact protection can mean the difference between life and death. Crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) resulted in a wide range of results for side-impact and rear whiplash protection. While whiplash on its own is not a life-threatening injury, head injuries can be without proper protection.
The facts don’t lie: drivers and passengers in vehicles with side-curtain airbags have a higher likelihood of survival in a side-impact collision. In the U.S., side-curtain bags are required for all vehicles made after 2009. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), it’s estimated these reduce fatal side-impact head injuries by 45 per cent and save up to 1,000 lives each year.
Built to Last
Side airbags are often not enough on their own to save lives. A vehicle needs to be structurally sound to withstand a serious collision. The size and weight of a vehicle are crucial when it comes to vehicle safety. Smaller, lightweight vehicles almost always come up on the short end in collisions.
However, smaller vehicles do have some advantages. A smaller vehicle like the Mazda 3 is a lot easier to maneuver than a bigger vehicle like the Ford Explorer. When trying to avoid a collision, a smaller vehicle may let you get out of the way in the nick of time.
While a larger vehicle may better protect you in multi-vehicle accidents, you aren’t always at an advantage when it comes to single-vehicle collisions. There is a staggering 43 per cent fatality rate in these instances. Both SUVs and pickup trucks have twice the chance of rolling over, according to the NHTSA.
You’d think pickup trucks would better protect you in a collision. Unfortunately, it’s quite the opposite. According to the safety advocacy group Informed for Life, pickup trucks are the most dangerous type of vehicles. Not only do pickups have the highest chance of fatality and serious injury, they have a high risk of rollover. Few pickups offer electronic stability control compared to other vehicles. If you’re an inexperienced driver, you should really think twice before driving a pickup.
Please visit Rates.ca for more information on car insurance for high risk drivers.