Monday, April 30, 2007

It's Not What You Drive

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a report on the safest and deadliest US vehicles. It's an interesting report, but the most interesting tidbit may be the observation made by the guys at - it matters less what you drive than how you drive.

The ten safest cars include a bunch of large sedans and minivans, vehicles typically driven by older drivers and families with children. Certainly those vehicles are designed to be safe, but they are also typically driven safely.

Lowest Vehicle Deaths Per Million Vehicles

Chevrolet Astro: minivan very large - 7
Infiniti G35: luxury car midsize - 11
BMW 7 Series: luxury car very large - 11
Toyota 4Runner: 4WD SUV midsize - 13
Audi A4/S4 Quattro: 4dr car midsize - 14
Mercedes E-Class: luxury car large - 14
Toyota Highlander: 4WD SUV midsize - 14
Mercedes M-Class: 4WD SUV midsize - 14
Toyota Sienna: minivan very large - 17
Honda Odyssey: minivan very large - 17
Lexus ES 330: luxury car midsize - 18
Lexus RX 330: 2WD SUV midsize - 18
Toyota Sequoia: 2WD SUV large - 18
Honda Pilot: 4WD SUV midsize - 19
BMW X5: 4WD SUV midsize - 19

Conversely, the ten deadliest vehicles include mostly smaller, cheaper cars that are often driven by younger, more aggressive drivers. You can also observe that bigger probably equals safer, but that doesn't explain why the Chevy Blazer is the deadliest vehicle on the road.

Highest Vehicle Deaths Per Million Vehicles

Chevrolet Blazer: 2dr 2WD SUV midsize - 232
Acura RSX: 2dr car small - 202
Nissan 350Z: sports car midsize - 193
Kia Spectra: hatchback 4dr car small - 191
Pontiac Sunfire: 2dr car small - 179
Kia Rio: 4dr car mini - 175
Chevrolet Cavalier: 2dr car small - 171
Mitsubishi Eclipse: 2dr car small - 169
Dodge Neon: 4dr car small - 161
Pontiac Grand Am: 2dr car midsize - 160
Chevrolet Cavalier: 4dr car small - 150
Ford Mustang: sports car midsize - 150
Ford Ranger: 4WD pickup small - 150
Mazda B Series: 2WD pickup small - 147
Mitsubishi Eclipse: convertible sports car small - 146
Mitsubishi Montero: Sport 2WD SUV midsize - 146

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