Shopping for a Small Car? Consider This.

Look at this list of cars:

  • Hyundai Accent
  • Kia Rio
  • Scion tC
  • Chevrolet Spark
  • Nissan Versa

Can you guess what they all have in common? If you guessed that they are all smaller vehicles, you’re correct! But because they’re considered small cars, they have another unfortunate thing in common, too: they’re all on a recent list of the most dangerous cars.

The fatality rate of “minicars” is nearly twice as high as the fatality rate of large sedans. This is from data from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 11 people per million are killed in crashes involving large sedans, versus 35 people per million killed in small cars. Mid-size cars generally fare slightly better than very small vehicles, with a death rate that is 17% lower than the death rate for mini cars.

This does not mean, however, that small cars are inherently dangerous. They are not prone to more manufacturing defects than other vehicles, and a small car does not automatically increase your chances of getting in an accident. The reason why they are more dangerous is a simple matter of physics. If a smaller object collides with a bigger one, the bigger object will likely exert more force on the smaller object, causing greater damage to the smaller object. In vehicles, larger cars have longer hoods and bigger “crush zones,” which are an advantage during a collision. Smaller vehicles do not have as big of a “crush zone,” which means the car and its occupants may sustain more damage.

Since they are usually more fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly, small cars are all the rage right now. Does this new information mean you should stop your plans to purchase a smaller car? Not necessarily. But when buying a car, you should always consider the pros and cons. Even if you are a fantastic, responsible driver, you still need to consider the fact that an accident may be outside your control. In this situation, you want a vehicle that will do all it can to protect you from injury.


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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