While it’s certainly true that any vehicle can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong driver, there’s another truth that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough: some automobiles are just riskier than others. We’re not talking about flashy sports cars versus more conservative models, either. Or cars from decades ago that can’t come close to the cars of today in terms of safety features.
Across the board, modern models are safer, but there are still huge differences between the number of car deaths, accidents, injuries, and so on that occur based on the automobile model itself. Below, we’re going to detail the findings that come from a number of studies done in recent years so that you can make an educated decision about the type of vehicle you want – and be more aware of which cars to watch out for when you’re out on the road.
Car Models That Get into the Most Accidents
Wikilender put together a list of the 10 most accident-prone cars by adding together both reported and unreported accidents for vehicle models from 2009 or newer. Overall, they say they looked at more than 2.4 million vehicles and recorded the percentage of accidents for each. Here’s what they found:
- BMW 4 Series – 18.5%
- BMW X1 – 18.0%
- Range Rover Evoque – 16.5%
- Jaguar XJ – 15.7%
- Infiniti JX – 14.6%
- Lexus RX 350 – 14.4%
- Audi A5 – 14.2%
- Cadillac ATS – 14.1%
- Lexus CT 200h – 13.6%
- Infiniti QX60 – 13.5%
Interesting, right? All more expensive, higher-end vehicles. It’s something that’s particularly worth noting since the number of these cars on the road is probably fairly low compared with, say, Honda Civics or Toyota Corollas.
This, combined with the fact that Wikilender’s research looked at the percentage of these models in accidents rather than the total number of accidents means that the findings are probably skewed towards models with fewer cars on the road in general.
Car Models That Cause the Most Injuries
Arguably more trustworthy are the numbers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI). They are organizations dedicated to collecting and examining information on motor vehicle crashes in an effort to reduce deaths, injuries, and damages and figure out what makes cars safer.
They are constantly poring over statistics and doing studies to let people know which vehicles are safest – and which aren’t – in a variety of categories. First, we’re going to look at which vehicles are associated with causing the highest number of injuries.
The below findings are for automobile models from 2014-2016, and listed injuries are per million registered vehicles.. Their top 10 injury-causing cars are:
- Mitsubishi Lancer
- Toyota Yaris iA/Scion iA
- Nissan Versa
- Kia Rio Sedan
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Kia Forte
- Chrysler 200
- Toyota Corolla iM/Scion iM
- Dodge Charger
- Kia Rio Hatchback
If you’re keeping score, Kia leads with three models on the list, followed by Toyota. It is worth noting that the Lancer was well out in front of the others in terms of injury claims per million, however, with 215. The next vehicle on the list had 189.
Car Models with the Most Deaths
Next up, automobile deaths. The below numbers on car models with the highest rate of deaths are from “2014 and equivalent earlier models, 2012-15.”
As above, listed driver deaths are per million registered vehicles. According to their research, the top 10 deadliest motor vehicles are:
- Hyundai Accent sedan
- Kia Rio sedan
- Toyota Scion tC
- Chevrolet Spark
- Nissan Versa
- Ford Fiesta sedan
- Kia Soul
- Dodge Challenger
- Nissan Titan Crew Cab short bed 4WD
- Nissan Sentra
This time, Nissan leads the pack with three, but two Kias still make the list. There’s no real outlier in this list in terms of number of deaths, with the Accent leading at 104 and the Sentra pulling up the rear at 72.
Most Dangerous Car Models Overall and What to Do If You Suffer Injury
Unfortunately, the first list from Wikilender seems to be a bit of an outlier, with none of those vehicles appearing on either of the other two lists. However, if we disregard that one and only look at the findings from IIHD, a pattern emerges – and it’s probably not all that surprising.
Generally speaking, smaller, lighter cars are involved in more injuries and deaths. This is particularly noticeable in the list of deadliest cars, which features five minis and three small cars, with only two large vehicles.
In terms of specific models, the big losers here seem to be the Kia Rio and the Nissan Versa, with Toyota earning special “honors” for having two different versions of the Scion in the top three of both lists.
What does this mean if you suffer injury in one of these vehicles?
By itself, probably not a whole lot. Driving an “unsafe vehicle” isn’t likely going to serve as “proof” of fault or negligence. However, it can serve as valuable supplementary information in a claim if your attorney is trying to argue that something about the vehicle’s design caused your injuries.
Interested in learning more, get in touch with our office and we’ll go over the facts of your case and let you know whether we believe you have a viable claim that is worth pursuing.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.