According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, bigger and heavier vehicles are more protective for passengers than smaller and lighter vehicles. Size and weight are both characteristics of vehicles that affect the force that passengers feel when a vehicle crashes. The amount of force that impacts passengers directly relates to the risk of injury.
A vehicle that is longer from the front to the passenger area gives the passengers an advantage in frontal crashes, which account for half of passenger deaths in traffic accidents. If there is more room for the vehicle to crush up in front, the passengers will feel a decreased amount of force.
Weight plays a larger role in a two-vehicle collision. Since the bigger vehicle will push the small vehicle backward at the point of impact, there will be less force on the occupants on the bigger vehicle and more force on the lighter vehicle. Heavier vehicles also may be more advantageous in one-car accidents, since the weight of the heavier vehicle is more likely to crush the object it strikes, rather than the object crushing the vehicle.
Crash data also reveals that the risk of death is much greater for occupants of small vehicles, as opposed to occupants of larger vehicles. For example, in 2015, larger cars that were one to three years old had 22 deaths per million registered vehicle, whereas smaller cars had 64 deaths per million.
Furthermore, although larger vehicles formerly posed a higher risk to the occupants of small vehicles in the event of a crash, improvements in the design of SUVs have made this much less of a danger. SUVs are now designed to be lower and align with small car frames, so this threat to occupants has disappeared. In fact, a more recent study shows that SUVs were no more likely than cars to be involved in vehicle crashes that killed the occupants of the other vehicle.
We are the Wisconsin traffic accident lawyers to whom you always can turn if you or your loved one suffers serious injuries in a traffic accident, no matter the type of negligence involved. No matter how complex or difficult your situation may be, the Madison injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan are here to advocate on behalf of you and your family and hold negligent drivers responsible for any injuries that have occurred.