Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently organized a study that indicated the higher probability of the drivers of smaller vehicles being more vulnerable in a collision course. The research supported the rationale of smaller vehicles being at a disadvantage when colliding with a bigger vehicle through facts and figures. The research team observed that close to 75% of accidents resulting in the death of the driver involved compact and sub-compact vehicles from the model year 2017. To deduce results accurately, the researchers divided the driver’s death per million registrations that year. Driver deaths per 10 Billion miles driven were also calculated. Joe Nolan, Senior Vice President, Vehicle Research, IIHS, said, “Smaller vehicles offer less protection for the driver in crashes, and their lighter mass means that they take the brunt of collisions with larger vehicles.” Now, it is basic physics that momentum is mass multiplied into velocity. Therefore, the higher the mass of the vehicle, the more potential energy it has to release on impact.
However, there are some factors that suggest otherwise, like the usual family minivan is more common than a sports car. Therefore, it is natural for deaths with respect to miles driven would be higher for the sports car. Similarly, trucks travel extreme distances; therefore, when compared to sports cars, their distance will always be more, and deaths would seem lesser for a definite distance interval.
However, the Nissan Leaf and the Volkswagen Golf had unusually low rates of collision and driver deaths compared to the other vehicles in their segment. The reason could be that they are electric vehicles (EVs). People have different approaches to using them, and they are also equipped with advanced safety measures. These measures help control the driver’s actions and reflexes while driving.