Consider this scenario: You’re in the market to buy a new car and you have a list of all the factors that will go into your ultimate decision. Gas mileage is one of those top-of-the-list factors because you want something that will save you money and will be good for the environment. You figure that one of the new smaller models is probably a good bet because smaller cars tend to get better mileage due to their lighter weight. So you decide to go for a smaller car, more fuel efficient car.
However, a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows what’s good for your wallet may not be the best bet for your safety. The company put together data to see which cars get into accidents most frequently and it seems smaller cars are at the top of the list. The most recently issued IIHS Status Report ranked the most dangerous cars on the road based on the personal injury protection (PIP) claims for cars manufactured between 2009 and 2011.
The size of the car was one obvious reason smaller cars were higher on the list, but vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute, Matt Moore explains the driver’s income, location and rate of use also factor in. He reasoned that because “smaller vehicles are more likely to be in urban areas, and smaller vehicles are likely to be driven more frequently because they’re owned by a single person in a given household,” the odds of these compact vehicles of getting into accidents go up.
What does all this add up to? These smaller cars pose a great risk for the driver, since their compact size makes them more likely to sustain greater damages when in a collision with a bigger vehicle or stationary object. What makes the cars cheaper to drive, also makes them a hazard for the driver.
We have the list of the top five most dangerous cars on the list, along with their claim frequencies (per 1,000 insured vehicle years). Check out the slideshow above to see if you’re at a higher risk.