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Is Your Car a Killer?

Brand new red carIf you are in the market for a new car, it only makes sense that you consider safety when choosing your make and model. New technology has made cars safer, but what if you aren’t looking for a new model? Not all car buyers shop new.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety issues a report outlining the most dangerous vehicles and the safest ones, based upon death rate. Vehicles in the report are all of the model year 2011. If you are shopping for a used car, consider your options carefully.

Between 2008 and 2011, vehicle fatalities dropped 41 percent from 48 fatalities per million registrations to just 28 per million. It is a huge improvement, but car shoppers should still consider the following information when choosing the next vehicle they will be using to hit the open road.

The Kia Rio may be one of the worst choices that you can make with 149 fatalities for every million registrations. The Rio was followed closely by the Nissan Versa sedan at 130 fatalities per million registrations and the Hyundai Accent at 120 fatalities per million registrations. Several other small cars also made the list.

When it comes to the safest cars on the list, nine separate models had a fatality rate of zero: Volvo XC90 4WD, Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD, Toyota Sequoia 4WD, Subaru Legacy 4WD, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WD, Lexus RX 350 4WD, Kia Sorento 2WD, Honda Odyssey, and Audi A4 4WD.

Just eight years ago, IIHS conducted the same study and discovered that no make or model had a zero death rate.

A complete elimination of traffic fatalities is something that is decades away, but vehicle improvements are making the risk less. In 2013, 32,719 people were killed in car accidents, a number down from the 33,561 people who were killed in 2012. While the study examined data through the end of 2012, it only concentrated on drivers. Passenger deaths were not included.

So what do you look for? Larger cars are safer than smaller ones. “Mini” cars are the most dangerous of all. Four wheel drive is always a viable option and a safe choice. No matter what you choose, be sure to conduct a fair amount of research before you plunk any money down.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact our attorneys as soon as possible. We are here to assist you and your family today.

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