Size does matter. A study shows that car accident injury claims tend to be filed most frequently by people who were riding in small and light cars when the crash occurred.
You may not be surprised that the study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that a larger and heavier vehicle will give its occupants better protection in a collision than will a smaller and lighter vehicle.
Transportation researchers studied collision losses for passenger vehicles from the 2014 through 2016 model years. They analyzed claims against multiple kinds of auto insurance:
- Collision coverage, which insures against damage to a driver’s vehicle if he or she is at fault in a crash
- Comprehensive coverage, which covers theft and damage not caused by a crash
- Property damage liability, which pays for damage that an at-fault driver causes to another vehicle.
Bodily injury liability auto insurance pays for injuries that an at-fault driver causes to occupants of other vehicles or others on the road. Medical or health insurance pays for injuries suffered by an at-fault driver.
For the study, collision losses were adjusted for deductibles, and the researchers controlled for factors such as driver age, gender, marital status, calendar year and model year.
Cars With The Most Frequent Personal Injury Claims
Cars with the most frequent injury claims were four-door micro cars, followed by minicars, small four-door cars, and midsize sedans. Very large pickup trucks had the lowest frequency of injuries, followed by large luxury SUVs.
“The models having the most frequent injury claims largely consist of some of the smallest rides on the road and are those most often chosen by or for younger drivers because of their affordable sticker prices,” Jim Gorzelany wrote for Forbes magazine. “The worst offender here is the compact Mitsubishi Lancer.”
The Lancer had about twice the average number of personal injury claims among other vehicles. The Toyota Scion iA, a mini four-door car, scored nearly as high in personal injury claims.
It might initially be surprising that two sports cars, the Porsche 911 Carrera and the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe, had the lowest and next lowest personal injury frequency among vehicles studied. As the Forbes article explains, while they may be driven fast (and speed does kill in a crash), sports cars are often driven for fewer miles and often carry just one passenger.
The 10 most dangerous cars identified by the researchers for the frequency of injuries in crashes are:
- Mitsubishi Lancer
- Toyota Scion iA
- Nissan Versa
- Kia Rio Sedan
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Chrysler 200 two-wheel drive
- Kia Forte
- Scion iM small station wagon
- Dodge Charger
- Kia Rio mini station wagon.
The vehicles with the least frequent personal injuries were:
- Porsche 911 Carrera
- Chevrolet Corvette Z06 coupe
- Porsche Boxter convertible
- Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon
- Mercedes-Benz SL
- Porsche Cayman (two-door)
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Chevrolet Corvette two-door
- Chevrolet Corvette convertible
- Tesla Model S four-door.
Overall Costs of Collisions
The study also looked at overall losses in a collision, or the combination of how often claims are made, and claim severity, or how much was paid per claim on average.
The average claim severity for all vehicles was $5,256 with a claim frequency of 7.4 per 100 insured vehicle years. The average overall loss was $390.
But the highest claim severity/cost (do you see it coming?) was for the Bentley Continental GT, a two-door, four-wheel drive (4WD) described as a “very large luxury car.” Its average loss payment per claim was $35,744. It had an overall loss, or average payment per insured vehicle year, of $2,536.
Two more Bentleys, four BMWs, two Maseratis and an Audi make up the top 10 for most expensive insurance claims. The Maserati Ghibli, a four-door four-wheel drive, was No. 10 with an average claim cost of $13,272 and average overall loss of $1,339.
Back where most people live, the HLDI also ranked cars under $30,000 for their overall losses in a collision, as well as for claim severity and frequency.
The top 10 for highest overall losses were:
- Hyundai Genesis
- Scion FR-S
- Ford Mustang (two-door)
- Chevrolet Camaro (two-door)
- Subaru BRZ
- Dodge Challenger
- Kia Optima hybrid
- Mitsubishi Lancer 4WD
- Dodge Charger
- Mitsubishi Lancer.
The top 10 for lowest overall losses were:
- Smart For Two electric
- Jeep Wrangler two-door 4WD
- Subaru Outback 4WD
- GMC Canyon extended-cab pickup
- RAM 1500 LWB large pickup
- Volkswagen Golf electric
- Jeep Wrangler four-door 4WD
- Ford F-150 large pickup
- Mazda CX-5 four-door.
It’s easy to get lost in the numbers. To summarize, the researchers said that in general, larger, heavier vehicles and those with good safety ratings offer the best protection for their occupants.
After a Car Accident, Insurance Payment is Key
Regardless of the vehicle, what you are likely to encounter if you are injured in a car accident is that the insurance company will try to pay the least amount possible to settle your claim.
Our Oklahoma City injury attorneys at Ryan Bisher Ryan & Simons have helped many people after insurance companies have tried to deny valid claims or to pressure the accident victims into accepting low-ball settlements while they were facing mounting medical bills.
Negotiating a full settlement from insurers after a serious accident often requires presenting solid evidence of your claim and a full accounting of the amount you deserve. This requires an investigation and a willingness to fight for what is right.
For decades, our attorneys have stood up for accident victims to protect them from insurance companies that would take advantage of them during a vulnerable time after an accident. If you need help, schedule a free consultation today so that we can review the legal options available with you.