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Are Bigger Vehicles Safer in a Collision?

When purchasing a vehicle, many buyers will focus on safety features and luxury aspects of the new vehicle.

Are Bigger Vehicles Safer in a Collision?Considering the fact that more than 30,000 fatal car accidents occur every year in the U.S., the safety of a vehicle becomes a very relevant question. It is believed that the bigger or heavier a vehicle, the safer it is for passengers in the event of a crash. Whether an accident involves two or more vehicles, the size of the vehicle is an important factor that determines any fatalities or the severity of the injuries. Larger vehicles usually prove to be safer, with passengers sustaining less serious injuries and a lower chance of fatality.

Safety Collision Categories

Vehicles are categorized into four safety collision categories determined by crash performance tests. The rating categories and corresponding tests are:

  1. Frontal offset crash test – This category tests for outcomes of head-on collisions that hit a barrier at a speed of 40mph.
  2. Side-impact crash test – This category tests for outcomes of crashes where a vehicle is hit on the side by another vehicle weighing more than 3,330 pounds (approximately a vehicle as heavy as an SUV) at a speed of 31 mph.
  3. Roll-over test – In the roll-over test, a corner of the vehicle is hit with a metal plate to determine the amount of force that will cause a vehicle to roll over.
  4. Rear-impact test – The rear-impact test checks if the seat belts in a vehicle that is hit from the rear-end can save a passenger from whiplash.

Disadvantages of Smaller Vehicles

The test results show that smaller vehicles are more likely to be compromised than larger vehicles. Smaller vehicles have an inherent disadvantage when compared to large vehicles such as SUVs and trucks.

  • Smaller cars have a higher probability of suffering more damage than larger cars.
  • The physical dimensions of a smaller car hamper the ability of the car to be safer, making safety equipment like airbags and seatbelts more important as safety measures.
  • A smaller car has less space between the passenger and the colliding vehicle than larger cars, making smaller cars more dangerous in head-on collisions.
  • In collisions, a larger vehicle will push a smaller car backwards due to more force (mass X acceleration). Because of a smaller crumple zone, the accelerated force will then transfer to the occupants in the car, causing more severe damage.

Chicago Car Crash Lawyer

Car accident injuries cannot be completely prevented. If you have suffered injuries in a crash, contact a Chicago car crash lawyer. Call Willens & Baez at (312) 957-4166.

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