It might be a statement you’d expect Captain Obvious to say, but researchers with the University at Buffalo have data evidence that supports the theory that bigger and heavier vehicles are more likely to keep occupants safe in a crash compared to lighter, more compact vehicles.

The study took a retrospective look at 360 vehicle models from 2010 to 2012 based on insurances claims logged by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Highway Loss Date Institute.

The results show that large pickup trucks and SUVs had fewer claims of personal injury than subcompacts, compacts, and sedans. Ranking at the top of the safe-to-drive list is the Ram 2500 Mega Cab, GMC Sierra 1500, GMC Sierra 2500 Crew Cab, Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Crew Cab, Ford F-150 Super Cab, Ford F-250 Super Cab, and Ford F-350 Crew Cab.

The vehicle’s price also plays an apparent roll in it fairing well in a crash. Also topping the study’s list of safest vehicles are the Porsche Cayenne, Audi A6, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Land Rover Range Rover, Land Rover LR4, Volvo XC60.

You’ll notice the majority of these vehicles have a body-on-frame design and carry a curb weight of more than 4,500 pounds – save for the Volvo, which tops out at 4,277 pounds.

Conversely, ranking at the bottom end are smaller, lighter, and less expensive vehicles such as the Mitsubishi Galant, Dodge Avenger, Kia Forte, Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, Toyota Corolla, Chrysler 200, Honda Accord, and Ford Fiesta, among others.

The study interestingly concludes that for every additional $10,000 spent on a vehicle, the injuries go down by nearly 12 percent. It’s this last bit of information that’s most intriguing about the study, which some would argue, is a case of common sense despite the greater crash safety standards these days.

Continue reading for more information and link to the bottom-scoring cars

Why it Matters

Driver Embeds His Audi TT into the Side of a House
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Safety has been a huge factor in vehicle sales over the last few decades, with people relying heavily on the crash rating provided by the IIHS and NHTSA. Though the two organizations often rate small cars as being “Top Safety Picks” and so on, the tests are conducted at 40 mph against a stationary barrier. That sort of crash scenario might not be the most common type of accident found on public roads, nor the most common speed at which those accidents happened.

Granted, I’m no data scientist, but it does seem plausible that conducting research on past injury-causing crashes would lead to a better understanding of which vehicles were statistically more safe.

To see the full list of low-scoring vehicles, check out this link

Source: The Buffalo News

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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