You can be the safest driver in the country, take every precaution, and still find yourself at the business end of a car wreck when you cross paths with a reckless driver. But the type of vehicle you drive can make a difference in whether you walk away from a collision with minor or severe injuries. Insurance quote company ValuePenguin decided to analyze data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to determine what vehicles are most likely to be involved in fatal crashes in the United States.
The Ford F-Series (including the F-150 and its bigger siblings the F-250 and F-350) was involved in more fatal accidents over the course of our study than any other car, truck or SUV. The vast majority were for the most popular F-150 model, which accounted for 65% of all fatal F-Series crashes. The F-Series is also the most popular truck in America, having sold nearly a million units in 2018.
Additional findings included:
- Vehicle model years 2005 to 2008 accounted for the highest number of fatal crashes.
- Passenger cars accounted for the most fatal crashes
- Although they make up only 3% of registered vehicles, motorcycles account for 10% of fatal crashes.
- The Ford Mustang ranked the worst in protecting occupants in crashes.
Other dangerous passenger cars and trucks
The top five most dangerous vehicles in the United States, according to the study, are as follows:
- Ford F-Series: 10,845 fatal crashes. As previously mentioned, the Ford F-Series came in at the top of the list for fatal accidents. The report also revealed that the deadliest vehicle here in North Dakota is, indeed, the Ford F-Series pickup.
- Chevrolet Silverado: 7,718 fatal crashes. Another large pickup, the Silverado is also one of the tallest pickup trucks on the road, and came out as the deadliest vehicle in Arkansas and Vermont.
- Honda Accord: 5,079 fatal crashes. The Honda Accord tops the list as the most dangerous passenger car in the research and poses an elevated risk for occupants. The Accord is also the deadliest vehicle in New Jersey.
- Toyota Camry: 4,734 fatal crashes. The top competitor to the Honda Accord, the Camry comes in right under it with slightly fewer fatal accidents.
- Ram pickups (all models): 5,897. The Ram model year 2001 had the highest incidents of fatal crashes, but the report did note that it had a lower risk of fatal injuries to occupants.
How unsafe are pickup trucks?
As cars are getting safer, trucks (and SUVs) may not be. In 2019, “Only one of 11 midsize and full-size crew-cab pickups recently tested by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety received the group’s coveted Top Safety Pick designation. More than half of the 2019 models tested earned only a ‘marginal’ or ‘poor’ rating in a punishing front-end crash test that looks at passenger safety,” The Detroit News reports.
But why? There are a few possibilities:
- Pickups bodies are rigid. Unlike cars, which are created with crumple zones, pickups are built with less flexible frames. That means that drivers and passengers absorb more energy in a crash than passengers and drivers in a smaller car do.
- Empty pickups can lose traction. Because pickups are heaviest in the front, they’re more likely to spin out, roll over, or lose traction in bad weather or on hazardous roads. All these events can lead to a potentially deadly single-vehicle crash.
- Pickups can damage other pickups. Look around: your neighbors probably have the same F-Series that you do. When everyone’s driving the same type of truck with the same design “flaws,” the chances are simply higher than there will be more deadly crashes involving those very vehicles.
- Pickups have bigger blind spots. The larger the vehicle, the harder it is to see cars, pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicycles. This can lead to a lot of head-on collisions and collisions while turning.
- Pickups have a higher point of impact in a crash with a person or bike. When a pickup hits a pedestrian, motorcycle rider, or cyclist, the impact is higher up on the torso (as opposed to the legs, which is where the point of impact occurs in a collision with a car). According to Outside Online, “Modern truck and full-size SUVs favor blocky, muscular styling at the front end, rather than the more gently sloping transition from grille to hood that cars and some compact SUVs have. Instead of sliding onto the hood when hit by a truck, the rider’s pelvis and torso rotate with a twisting, tearing motion.” In short, pickups can be more deadly for other people, too.
Safety features don’t come standard in pickups
There are a ton of new safety features out there that come standard in passenger vehicles. But those features aren’t always standard in trucks. That means if you want some extra bells and whistles, you need to pay for them separately. The Detroit News reports:
On the Ram 1500 pickup… options like blind-spot detection, forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning cost extra. The Ram 1500 does come standard with safety features like brake-assist, electronic roll-mitigation and electronic stability-control.
Nereida Mooney of Lincoln Park, who leased a 2019 Ford F-150 in November, said she moved to a pickup from a Ford Explorer because she wanted more towing capability. But to be able to afford the pickup, she had to forgo features that were on her old Ford Explorer like blind-spot detection and air bag seat belts for the back seats.
“The only downside was that on the Ford F-150s the up-charge was a lot more, so I then had no choice but to go with the cheaper option — getting more of a standard pickup,” she said.
Don’t dump your trucks just yet
Based on the data ValuePenguin supplied, it looks a lot more like Ford F-Series trucks are in the deadliest crashes because there are a lot of them. We just want you to have all the information so you can make good decisions about your truck and your driving habits.
The attorneys at Larson Law Firm, P.C. are committed to protecting the rights of those injured in truck and auto crashes. If you were hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help you seek compensation for your injuries and losses. To arrange a free consultation, call us in Minot or Bismarck today at 701.484.HURT or complete our contact form.
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