There are plenty of internet resources that will confirm bigger cars are safer (in general), plus common sense tells me that if I ram a tree with my 1700 lb all aluminum Honda Insight it will probably crush up like a soda can (with me in it), I do believe my large truck will fare much better in a tree contest.
Small/light vehicles have less structure and size to absorb crash energy, so crash forces on occupants will be higher. People in lighter vehicles are at a disadvantage in collisions with heavier vehicles (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2012)
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) "...small cars are much more dangerous in head-on crashes than larger vehicles" and "Death rates in minicars involved in multi-car crashes are nearly twice as high as those in large sedans, according to IIHS data" (Elliott, 2009)
Sure, but the USA still has the highest fatality rates for a 1st World country, Europe has the lowest. Cars here are much smaller. Have you seen the videos of Smart cars hitting solid barriers at 80 MPH? You can still open/close the doors. I have been in 3 pretty bad accidents, my worse was last year when we collided with a car, both travelling at 60 MPH, and then rolled over. Never been injured though.
But a small car hitting a car twice or three times bigger is always going to come off worse, that's common sense.
Yes, a larger car will be better off if involved in a crash than a smaller one. But if in a crash, it is a 50% chance it won't be with another car. In a single car crash, the heavier car's weight equals higher forces involved on the car and the occupants. Going the same speed, the twice as heavy car will experience twice the force when hitting a tree than the lighter one. Any extra reinforcing and crumple zone space it may have is needed to absorb the extra force.
The ideal design for a crash will have the car crumple up like a tin can while leaving the cabin space intact. In slow mo footage of a smart car crash test, you can see the force from the front crash get channeled around the cabin and damage the car's rear.
Trucks and SUVs have historically had less stringent safety regulations on them than cars. Their higher center of gravity also means a higher chance of roll over.
"Forty-five percent of car occupant deaths in 2012 occurred in single-vehicle crashes and 55 percent occurred in multiple-vehicle crashes. In contrast, single-vehicle crashes accounted for 65 percent of SUV occupant deaths and 65 percent of pickup occupant deaths." IIHS, 2012
So regardless of the car's size, you are more likely to die in a pick up hitting a tree than a small car.
"Historically, the rates of driver deaths per million registered vehicles have been higher for the smaller and lighter vehicles. This was true again in 2012, but the differences were less extreme than they used to be."-IIHS
Improving safety regulations and technology is covering the gap in deaths between car sizes. But we are already talking about tiny numbers to begin with. The number of fatalities for mid-size cars is 33, 49 for small, and 77 for mini per million registered vehicles. Your chance of dying in year, as an individual, is under a thousandth of a percent no matter you are driving.
While the IIHS has the graph with the about numbers, defines their vehicle sizes, and states small cars are less safe in the introductory paragraph, they do no other break out of the data by car size. Being cheaper, a small car is morelikely to be the the first new car of a younger person who doesn't make as much a more mature person. The under 30 makes up a larger percentage of fatalities than the others. We also don't know of many of the small car deaths involved just itself or multiple heavier vehicles. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/ge...enger-vehicles
Hello everyone, I'm going to add my opinion here, no intent to offend anyone so please take none.
Why so many wrecks and fatality's in the USA? I was a Police Officer for over 10 years before switching to the fire service (retired now). As police we were trained as "there is no such thing as an accident, someone or a company of manufacture is at fault".
The vehicle itself- manufactures defect, improper or lack of care/maintenance, replaced part defective....etc.(from the owner)
The owner/driver - The biggest problem is lack of education. 2nd, I'll give an example of myself.- I took my first and only drivers test at age 15. Both the written and driven part were way too easy and had little to do with real world driving. Never been required to take a new test or eye test...just renew my licence ( only exception was taking a motorcycle test- eye test, written and driving course- all too easy and very little to do with the real world). Laws not tough enough and existing ones not enforced properly.
My opinion, the solution for the driver/owner is education in all aspects including vehicle maintenance . Tougher tests to get a licence, and retesting every time they renew . (the testing here is a joke) The first/ and only real driving test I ever had was at the police academy. Put us through the wringer as should be. But everyone should have this type test to get a licence .
For vehicle and parts manufactures....only the laws can control them.
One last thing... the one thing that is not fixable that I know of in the current state of the USA is most no one gives a crap about there fellow man. This is in general/overall and not meant to offend anyone. I care about others as I'm sure my fellow fuelly's do.
Yes Draigflag, that is pretty much it . 15 -20 mins but on city streets in my area for the driving portion. 50 question test prior to driving (must pass written). If you want a laugh take a look at a practice test.
Wow that's a joke! The UK test is pretty difficult, with a 42% pass rate, but at least it lasts 40 minutes on busy public roads. You get marked 1 point for every mistake, that could be stalling, missing a gear, crossing your hands on the wheel and many other things. You only need 14 points to fail, and 1 major (bumping kerb, speeding etc) too. I know people that have taken the test 20+ times and failed.
I think a lot of countries need to adopt the Finnish way of teaching. Once kids have got the basics, they then learn how to drift on gravel, ice, snow, water etc. The driving lessons last 2 years minimum. Basically thats why so many good rally drivers come from Finland.