Top 5 Most Dangerous Cars
In essence, the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) crash test results confirm the fundamental laws of Physics – when two vehicles are accelerating at the same rate, the one with a bigger mass exerts more force (F = m * a). In short, if a Cadillac Escalade collides head-on with a Smart Fortwo, most likely the Smart driver would suffer more injury than the Escalade driver. For vehicles (and among other things), size matters.
What is not so obvious is that luxury brand cars tend to be safer. Luxury automakers are more willing to put the latest and greatest safety features in the more upscaled models because these extra safety features are more expensive to build. When they become more accepted by the general public, they get installed in other models to achieve the economies of scale. The only exception is the Cadallic STS large luxury sedan, which received a poor rear-impact rating and only an acceptable side-impact rating. Warren Buffet made the right decision by choosing the Cadillac DTS over the STS.
In the large luxury sedan segment, the Cadillac STS is the only luxury brand that received below-average safety rating. In contrast, the winners in this segment, namely Volvo S80 and Lincoin MKS, received a perfect score of 12.
In the fourth place, this car’s safety matters the most to taxi drivers and police officers. The Mercury Grand Marquis (Ford Crown Victoria) received “good” frontal crash score, but only got “marginal” rating in the side and rear impact. The body-on-frame construction has been around for over ten years and the design is showing its age. The good news is that Ford Crown Victoria has been available for fleet sales only since 2008, and the current Ford Police Interceptor will be phased out by 2011.
The Jeep Wrangler (2-door version) is the third most dangerous vehicle for a unique reason – the removable doors may look cool, but they severely degrade the side-impact safety. Maybe the removable doors are useful for the military, but I cannot think of a semi-logical reason on why daily drivers would need to remove the doors. The 4-door version also suffers from the same safety problem.
The subcompact Chevrolet Aveo is the second most dangerous car. The Aveo received a disappointing score of 7 (12 is the full score) where the winning car in this category received a score of 11. There is no safety information about the Suzuki Swift (a twin sister of the Aveo), but I am assuming that the safety rating of the Swift would be in the same ballpark.
The Chrysler PT Cruiser is the most dangersous car. The nostalgic exterior design may have contributed to the poor side and rear-impact rating. The PT Cruiser received a score of 6. Fortunately, there aren’t too many of them on the road anymore.