Is bigger always better?

Cobb Personal Injury Attorney - The Cooper Firm

Is bigger always better?

Typically in United States, people tend to have the perception that bigger is better and, in the case of vehicles, safer. Is that really true?

According to research, it is most often true. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed that the only category of vehicles with a higher fatality than small vehicles is the small pickup category because they tend to rollover more easily.

A few years ago, large sedans and SUVs took over the roads. Within a few years gas prices started to rise and people traded in their large vehicles for smaller and cheaper vehicles that received better gas mileage. Fuel economy was not the only reason there was increase in smaller vehicles sales. Some people choose smaller vehicles because they are economically friendly, easier to drive, and better fit their needs. Even though it might save money or seem logical, safety is a high priority, you may want to reconsider buying a small vehicle. Death rates for small cars in multi-vehicle crashes were nearly double those with large sedans, according to the IIHS.

The key between balancing safety and your wallet is to be informed and knowledgeable. Most people look at crash ratings similar to the ones National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) post when they are shopping for a car. What they do not realize is that if a smaller car scores a “good” rating, it only represents its ratings against other cars in its same category. In the case of a real crash, if you are driving a small vehicle that was rated “good” and you crash into a larger vehicle that had an “acceptable” or even a “poor” rating, you still may end up being seriously injured. Most crash test including those from NHTSA, are performed using a stationary wall and single car. Safety involving multi-vehicle crashes is not something you can judge from those crash tests. The best option is to look beyond the crash ratings and consider all of the safety features which are most important to you. Again, the IIHS and NHTSA websites are a good resource to determine which safety features you should insist on when buying a vehicle. The good news is there are smaller sedans and SUV’s that provide a reasonable margin of safety.

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