April 20, 2007

IIHS releases vehicles with highest and lowest death rates


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Arlington, Virginia – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released its list of vehicles with highest and lowest death rates; Chevrolet is top on both lists, with its Astro minivan rated the lowest in death rates, and its two-door, two-wheel drive Blazer listed the highest. The survey rates model year 2001-2004 vehicles with data taken from 2002-2005, with driver deaths per million registered vehicle years.

The vehicles with fewer than 20 deaths per million registered vehicle years were the Chevrolet Astro (7 deaths overall), Infiniti G35 (11), BMW 7 Series (11), Toyota 4Runner (13), Audi A4/S4 Quattro (14), Mercedes-Benz E-Class (14), Toyota Highlander (14), Mercedes-Benz M-Class (14), Toyota Sienna (17), Honda Odyssey (17), Lexus ES 330 (18), Lexus RX 330 (18), Toyota Sequoia (18), Honda Pilot (19) and BMW X5 (19).

The vehicles with the highest rates were the Chevrolet Blazer two-door 2WD (232), Acura RSX (202), Nissan 350Z (193), Kia Spectra hatchback (191), Pontiac Sunfire (179), Kia Rio (175), Chevrolet Cavalier two-door (171), Mitsubishi Eclipse (169), Dodge Neon (161), Pontiac Grand Am (160), Chevrolet Cavalier four-door (150), Ford Mustang (150), Ford Ranger 4WD (150), Mazda B Series 2WD (147), Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible (146) and Mitsubishi Montero Sport 2WD (146).

“This range from best to worst has been the pattern since we began comparing deaths by make and model in the late 1980s,” says Anne McCartt, IIHS senior vice president for research. “The rates vary not only among groups of vehicles by type, size and weight but also among individual models within the groups of similar vehicles.”

The study notes that characteristics that influence the rates include type and body style, as well as size; the study says that “the smallest vehicles in any type/body style group generally have the highest rates” and notes that “none of the 15 models with the lowest driver death rates is a small model.” In contrast, “11 of the 16 vehicles with the highest death rates are mini or small models, and none is large or very large.”

The report and the complete list of vehicles can be found at IIHS.org.

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