New research out of the University of Buffalo suggests that the price of your vehicle may help predict your likelihood of getting injured in a car crash. It may sound odd, but when you start to think about it, it makes sense. After all, if a Cadillac Escalade gets in a collision with a Fiat, odds are the driver of the SUV is going to walk away with fewer injuries than the person in the small car. Researchers also noted that vehicle type and total weight also play a significant role in predicting injuries.
“We found that vehicle type, curb weight and price are all significant predictors of personal injury cost,” said Dietrich Jehle, a professor of medicine and biomedical research at the University of Buffalo.
According to researchers:
- For every additional $10,000 you spend on your purchase price, injury likelihood drops by nearly 12 percent.
- For every 1,000-pound weight increase, vehicles were 19 percent safer.
“More expensive cars are typically safer in a crash due to the greater weight of the higher value vehicles, the presence of more sophisticated safety features and the fact that SUVs, which tend to be the safest vehicles on the road, are priced higher than the average passenger vehicle,” Jehle said. “In our study, we found that nearly one-third of this increased safety is due to the greater weight of the vehicle and 11 percent is a result of the type of vehicle driven such as an SUV versus a sub-compact. Sophisticated safety features can explain much of the remaining benefits.”
Why The Difference?
When a collision between two vehicles occurs, the heavier vehicle tends to push the lighter one in the direction the heavier vehicle was traveling. This means that the lighter vehicle experiences a greater change in velocity, and the bigger the change in velocity, the more likely a person is to suffer an injury.
“When smaller cars hit a larger, moving vehicle, that change in velocity can force the smaller car to go into reverse, resulting in far more serious injuries to the driver and passenger,” said Jehle.
Jehle also added that larger cars generally have more protective materials for their passengers.
“With a bigger vehicle, you have a larger crush zone,” said Jehle.
Now, if you can’t afford to drop tens of thousands of dollars on a car, there are still measures you can take to stay safe on the road. For example, Dr. Jehle said consumers should look for vehicles with additional airbags, rear-view cameras, sensor-based electronic safety aids and collision mitigation systems. When technological advancements are paired with safe driving techniques, like refraining from texting and driving, drivers can significantly reduce their likelihood of being involved in a serious crash.
Naperville Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, contact the skilled attorneys at Appelman Law. We have decades of combined experience representing clients in both civil and criminal matters. Contact us today at our Naperville office for a free consultation!