Are Small Fuel Efficient Cars Safe in a Georgia Car Accident?


September 26, 2011

There are tradeoffs that we have to make in life. With the recent rise in gas prices, many automobile owners are trading in their large cars for smaller cars. While this may seem like a great idea, a person has to make sure that they are not sacrificing safety for good fuel economy.

Statistically, small cars are more dangerous and lead to more deaths. Whether or not you stay safe on the road in a Georgia car accident is largely going to depend in part on the size and weight of your motor vehicle. The heavier your vehicle is the more likely you will avoid serious injury.

Cars have gotten so small that there is now a group called mini cars. These include cars such as Smart Cars, Toyota Yaris, Mini Coopers and the Honda Fit. According to the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), these mini cars were used in crash tests with other midsize cars and performed rather poorly. Real-life statistics show that the passenger death rate for passengers in mini cars are double that of passengers in large cars when involved in multi-car crashes. The figures that were reported by the IIIHS showed that there were 96 deaths per million of registered small car owners. And for midsize car owners the deaths per million were only 62 per million.

It really just comes down to plain physics. These mini cars and smaller cars have all of the latest safety features, including side airbags and stability control. When a heavier vehicle hits a smaller vehicle, however, the smaller vehicle is often going to lose out.

The National Academy of Sciences published a report in 2002 and reached two main conclusions: (1) Small cars are involved in more collisions than bigger cars, and (2) The fatality rate was higher for passengers in small cars than in large ones. Regardless of reports like this and other safety information that has been published, the sale of small cars has continued to rise.

When consumers are looking for a fuel-efficient but safe car, studies suggest that they should look at a vehicle's size and weight first. Other options a consumer should look at adding when buying, if the vehicle does not come equipped with them, would be side and head-curtain air bags.

Some consumers focus on crash test ratings. These ratings are given in "stars" and rate crash tests from "Good" to "Poor" based on a driver's ability to survive a crash. What consumers need to understand is that these ratings are only good when comparing cars within the same size class. A small car with a five star rating is not going to protect you as well as a large sedan with a five star rating. If you are buying a small car though, you definitely want to look at one with the highest crash test rating. This will help protect you in that class of car you are buying. These ratings are displayed on the window sticker of new cars. Additionally, the crash tests are based on very specific types of collisions- but in the real world a collision may not occur in exactly the same manner as the controlled circumstances of the test.

The way you and others around you drive are probably the biggest factors that are going to determine your chances of getting in a Georgia car accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia auto accident whether you were driving a small car or a big one, contact our experienced attorneys for a free consultation to understand your rights and options. An experienced Georgia auto accident attorney from our law firm is available to assist you throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at our main personal injury law firm website at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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