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Car Safety: Does Size Really Matter?

When a car accident occurs, serious and sometimes devastating injuries can affect the lives of those involved.  Victims need to understand who is to blame for collisions they are involved in and should take appropriate legal action to hold negligent drivers accountable. A Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer can provide representation to collision victims in fighting for full and fair compensation for collision losses.

Because many car accident injuries are permanent and sometimes fatal, it’s important for motorists to do everything possible to try to keep themselves safe from harm.  This means not only driving carefully, but also choosing a car with the best possible safety features. As you are considering what vehicle to buy, this means it is a good idea to evaluate what experts say are the safest vehicles.  Among many other factors to consider, the size of the car also matters.

Are Bigger or Smaller Cars Safer?

While there have been advancements in safety technology that have made cars of all sizes safer, bigger cars are still safer than smaller cars — assuming that both vehicles are of a similar age. 

Larger cars have larger crush zones, which gives them a substantial advantage in frontal crashes because the car can absorb more of the impact.  Heavier vehicles also weigh more, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has determined through studies that a larger vehicle pushes a smaller car backward when the vehicles make impact. The result of this is that the occupants of the heavier car have less force to absorb while those inside of the smaller vehicle absorb more force. 

When evaluating which type of vehicles are safer, you can look not only at physical characteristics of the cars and individual crash test performance, but you can also look to aggregate data.  In 2015, for example, SUVs had a lower death rate per vehicle than smaller passenger cars. There were 13 deaths per million large SUVs registered.  By contrast, there were 64 deaths per million registered mini cars.

However, the caveat is that older SUVs and older large vehicles without advanced safety features such as electronic stability control and side air bags are typically not as safe as smaller vehicles that are equipped with these modern injury-prevention technologies. Older SUVS may also be more top-heavy and thus may be more prone to rolling over and causing occupants to suffer serious injury because of it.

Drivers should carefully research the crash test results and safety ratings of any vehicle that they are considering purchasing and, if purchasing older used vehicles, should consider what safety features the cars come equipped with to ensure the vehicle they select will provide adequate protection in the event of a motor vehicle crash.

No matter what size vehicle you drive, if you are involved in a collision, you could be seriously hurt. If you or a loved one is harmed in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact a Colorado Springs personal injury lawyer for help understanding your rights and pursuing a claim for compensation.

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