IIHS Data on auto fatalities

It shouldn’t be too surprising that large SUVs have a lower passenger death rate than small cars. However, the disparity in stats for the identical GMC Yukon XL, Chevy Suburban, and Cadillac Escalade is a bit puzzling. Do the drivers of Yukons drive more safely?

I dunno but somewhere in there ya gotta think about there are particular personality types that buy certain types of cars, I think. Not always of course. The other thing is if you paid (or not paid yet) $60-70,000 for the vehicle, you might tend to be a little more careful with it. But as they say show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.


I can’t explain the discrepancy but I wonder if it is due to sheer luck of the draw? Maybe many of those Yukon drivers ended up as severely damaged goods rather than as a fatality. Just a theory.

I notice in the single car rollover category the Fiat 500 is a little bowling ball…

I agree with @bing about drivers of certain vehicles. There is likely more to it. The number of deaths is quite low for all large SUVs. Just one or two fatal accidents could account for all the deaths in these large vehicles. I’d like to see the confidence limits on these estimates. It is possible that 0 or 8 deaths per million registered years could be part of the same population if the error bars are large enough.

WOW, I used to own a Ford Fiesta, very dangerous car. This makes me want to buy an SUV.
At least my Toyota corolla is better

I don’t like to generalize, but–I will.
I have observed that drivers of VWs and BMWs are the ones who are most likely to engage in extremely close tailgating. Whether they engage in other risky behaviors, I can’t say, but at least 90% of the time, if I am being tailgated, the vehicle is a VW or a BMW, the driver is always young, and is more likely to be female.

The only good news is that tailgating is not as likely to lead to fatalities as some other reckless driving practices, so that might explain why the VW Golf had a good rating in that study.

1 Like

I’ve found that they are typically in jacked up 4WD full size pickups. And others, too, but I remember the pickups most because their lights are about head level. It doesn’t matter how close they get, their lights are always there.

??? Care to explain why you say that and what year your Fiesta was.
I certainly don’t consider our 2018 Fiesta SE dangerous.

You have to be careful interpreting statistics like this.

“People who wear body armor tend to die of gunshot wounds more than most people” does not mean that body armor makes bullets more powerful, it means that if you’re wearing body armor, it’s probably because you’re getting shot at in the first place, unlike those of us who aren’t.

It’s not that the small cars are dangerous. It’s that they’re getting run over by the suburban tanks that we have for some bizarre reason allowed to multiply on our streets. I was driving to work today in my MR2, and pulled up behind a new F150 - didn’t even have a license plate yet. The bumper height was ridiculous. If he hit me, the bumper would go straight through my forehead. Too many people think “big” is cool and buy the largest vehicle they can afford, and that means we’re now locked in an arms race to see who can get the biggest truck for best survivability. If this keeps up they’ll be driving Army 6x6’s to the kids’ soccer games.

F1 cars are tiny and don’t even have a roof, but they can wreck at 150 mph and the drivers just walk away swearing. Being small doesn’t make them dangerous. They’re survivable because of the safety systems in place, but also because they are not running F1 races concurrently with semi truck races.

Yes, there are those, too…

Citation? Just kidding. I believe it.

I was struck with just how safe even our most dangerous cars really are, when you have to use deaths per 10 BILLION miles in order to get a two digit number. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to commit suicide than die in a car crash.