Are Occupants of a Smaller Vehicle More Likely to Sustain an Injury in an Auto Accident?

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For drivers in Texas, bigger cars might not always mean better. For those who have been considering purchasing a small car, or already own one, you may have questions regarding your car’s safety rating. If you are curious as to whether or not you are at a greater risk of injury by driving a small car, here is what you need to know:

The NHTSA Conducts Car Safety Ratings Tests the Same Way

The first thing you should know about comparing small and large cars is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, or NHTSA, conducts safety ratings on all cars on the market. The smallest cars are tested in the exact same way as the biggest cars: with rollover, side-impact, and head-on collision tests. Cars are rated by number of stars – the highest rating being five stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also conducts safety tests on vehicles (and all in the same manner), rating them as Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor.

Safety Ratings for Vehicles Small and Large

For the 2014 Smart Fortwo car, the IIHS rated the care as “Good” when it came to side, roof, and moderate overlap crash-worthiness. The car only received an “Acceptable” for its head restraints and seats. The NHTSA gave the vehicle a four-star crash test rating. The Volkswagen Beetle, a car that’s slightly larger than the Smart car, has received a five-start rating for its 2014 two door, front wheel drive model.

Big cars have received high safety ratings, too. The Ford Expedition, a car known for its size, has received an overall four-star rating from the NHTSA (meaning it scored lower than the Beetle). When comparing safety ratings alone, both big and small cars fare about the same.

Fatality Rate Slightly Higher for Drivers of Small Vehicles

Despite the fact that when looking at safety ratings, vehicles both big and small have received five stars, the NHTSA reports that, “occupants of the smallest and/or lightest vehicles still have higher death rates as occupants of the largest and/or heaviest vehicles.”  The conclusion was based on a 2013 report on The Relative Safety of Large and Small Passenger Vehicles. The NHTSA also stated, though, that both vehicles big and small are safer than they were 20 years ago.

Injuries and Fatalities Happen In Cars of All Sizes – Know Your Options

If you have been in a car accident that has been caused by another driver, or if you have sustained injuries because your vehicle was unsafe at the time of collision, you need the help of a personal injury attorney. The auto accident and injury attorneys at the Tate Law Offices P.C., can answer all questions regarding your case and offer a free initial consultation. Contact us today.