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The Most and Least Safe Vehicle Models on the Road in Chicago

July 18, 2017

With so many options for car buyers in Chicago, it can be difficult to decide which vehicle is the safest. Luckily, many different agencies perform studies of the safest and least safe vehicles on the road. Buyers armed with such research can make informed decisions – which may make the difference between life and death in a car crash.

Car Safety Trends

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data on fatality rates among vehicles in the 2014 model year (and equivalent vehicles in the 2012-2015 model years). Of the ten vehicles with the highest fatality rates, five were mini cars and three were small cars. As in the past, this data found that smaller vehicles were less safe.

The category of vehicle with the lowest overall fatality rate was luxury sport utility vehicles with four wheel drive. The Audi Q7, Jeep Cherokee, Lexus RX 350 and Mercedes Benz M Class all had fewer than eight driver deaths per million registered vehicles, and the four wheel drive models of these vehicles all had fewer deaths than their counterparts with two wheel drive. This data corroborates the small car data by continuing the trend: larger vehicles were found to be the safest of all vehicles studied.

New Safety Features

Every year, auto manufacturers introduce new and improved safety technologies into vehicles. Backup cameras, electronic stability control, lane control and drift alerts … these continue to improve and expand with every model year. As 360-degree cameras and onboard computers also improve and expand, vehicles become increasingly autonomous. As impressive as these changes are, these technologies are new, and simply do not yet have the history of data to prove their efficacy. Nonetheless, they give car buyers more options to select the safety features which are most important to them in light of their individual driving habits.

Buying a Large Vehicle is Not Enough

The simple choice of purchasing a larger vehicle, or one with new safety features, will not protect a person from being injured in a collision. It falls to each individual driver to exercise safe driving habits and accept personal responsibility for avoiding accidents.

  • Speeding, tailgating, aggressive driving, and other unsafe habits will increase the risk of being involved in a crash.
  • Distractions from technology have become an increasingly prevalent problem in recent years: in fact, Illinois law now bans operation of electronic devices while driving altogether (625 Illinois Compiled Statute §5/12-610.2).
  • Regular maintenance and inspection are critical to identifying problems in a vehicle. Fixing problems early can prevent a vehicle from losing control and causing a collision.

When a driver is responsible for causing a crash, other drivers and passengers are legally entitled to be compensated for their injuries. The experienced car accident attorneys at Coplan + Crane have decades of experience in protecting the rights of personal injury victims in Oak Park and the greater Chicago area.

If you are injured, you may be entitled to damages such as:

  • Compensation for past and future medical expenses;
  • Compensation for lost wages and lost earning potential;
  • Compensation for property damage;
  • Compensation for wrongful death/ loss of consortium.

We work to ensure fair outcomes for all car accident cases.