Don't buy into the hype: Tiny cars are dangerous

Perhaps if you were driving in Europe, where most of the cars are smaller than the vehicles in the United States, a tiny car would be just as safe as a larger car. However, in this country, small cars are being pitted against huge sport utility vehicles and large sedans that are heavier and exponentially bigger than compact cars. These big cars can crush a small vehicle causing catastrophic injuries and death to the occupants.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the improved economy in the United States has fueled more driving on the roads, which has resulted in a rise in deadly motor vehicle crashes. The IIHS also found, by looking at federal crash data from 2012 to 2015, smaller cars didn't do anything to increase the safety of their drivers or occupants over larger vehicles. In fact, people riding in smaller cars -- as one might expect -- were much more vulnerable to suffering catastrophic injuries and death in the event of a collision.

Which small cars were the most dangerous? According to the IIHS, the mini cars Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent had the highest number of deaths associated with them. According to the lead researcher with the IIHS, they have always seen higher rates of deaths in the statistics associated with smaller cars, and the numbers have consistently proved this to be true. The researcher said, "I don't see any benefit from a safety standpoint to having a smaller car."

When it comes to staying safe on the road, Kentucky drivers might want to consider buying a larger vehicle during their next automotive purchase. A bigger car could mean the difference between life and death in a serious car accident -- especially one that involves a smaller vehicle and a bigger heavier car.

Source: CBS News, "Mini and small cars have highest traffic deaths rates, IIHS report says," accessed Aug. 18, 2017

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