New research by the Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that hybrids are safer than their conventional counterparts, reducing the risk of injury in car accidents by as much as 25%. The study looked at crash reports and insurance claims from 25 hybrid-conventional pairs of vehicles, model years 2003-2011, all with at least one collision claim and at least one related injury claim in the years 2002-2010.
The primary factor, according to the research report is the increased weight of hybrids. According to researchers, “Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts.” Researchers also noted that other factors, such as the driving habits of hybrid owners, may also impact the injury risk.
An example of the weight difference between hybrid and conventional vehicles is the Honda Accord. The conventional Accord weighs 3600 pounds and the hybrid may way as much as 4080 pounds, a 480 pound difference. According to previous IIHS research, a reduction in fleet size of about this amount (500 pounds) resulted in a 23 increase in fatalities between 1977-1986. As part of this research, the IIHS flirted with implying that minicars are defective vehicles in terms of passenger safety and may result in numerous wrongful deaths.
This research shows that people no longer have to sacrifice safety when it comes to getting better gas mileage.
The study did note that the risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident was 20 percent higher for hybrids than for conventional cars, most likely due to their quiet running. The NHTSA has until 2014 to find a solution to this problem, but in the meantime it is crucial for pedestrians to look both ways before crossing the street and for drivers to be on the lookout for pedestrians.
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one in a car accident, you may be able to receive compensation for your injury or loss. To learn more about your rights, please contact the Columbus, Ohio personal injury lawyers at Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA today for a free case evaluation.