Is a Bigger Car Safer than a Smaller Car?
What’s the Safest Vehicle to Drive?
Small cars are great for their outstanding fuel economy; SUV’s are wonderful for their versatility. But when it comes to safety, which is the best? Is a small car safe? Were older vehicles safer because they were sturdier and made of thicker metal? What if a small car gets in a crash with a big vehicle? When you’re searching for your next rig, there are a lot of questions that may be going through your head. So let’s take a look and see what are the safest vehicles on the road.
As the number one auto body repair shop in Montana, we want you to be safe. So we’ve dug deep and figured out how you, and your family, can remain safe on the roads.
Bigger Cars are Safer than Smaller Cars
When you’re basing safety on size, larger vehicles are safer than the smaller ones. It’s not that they’re designed better, nor is it that the drivers are more cautious, but it’s a simple matter of physics. The bigger and heavier vehicle is going to fare better in a crash than a smaller vehicle. The problem that most analyses find is that when doing crash tests and determining safety, it’s car to car and never car to SUV. So when you have a small vehicle crashing into a small vehicle, the damage is going to be far less (and the likelihood for a fatal accident far less) than if that same small vehicle were to crash into a big SUV.
The bottom line: amongst new vehicles, bigger and heavier is better.
Older Vehicles aren’t as Safe as New Vehicles
That argument, that the sturdy and heavier vehicle will fare better, is what drives a lot of people to the fallacy that older vehicles are safer. They contend that because they’re older, heavier, and when struck they don’t crumple to nothing like a new vehicle does, then they are therefore less dangerous. There are two issues that make this false.
First, you want the vehicle to crumple when you’re involved in a major accident. Yes, the damage and financial hit are hard to deal with, but physics tells us that the crumple is what saves lives. All of that energy (the speed of the vehicle) has to go somewhere. It can either crumple into the vehicle, or it can crumple into the occupants. Your body cannot handle that much force; you need the vehicle to take some of it.
Second, new vehicles have amazing safety features. Airbags, side airbags, sensors, stability controls, reinforced roofs on SUV’s, and more provide a lot of behind-the-scenes protection that save thousands of lives every year. Yes, in a minor fender bender an older vehicle will hold up better. But in a major accident, you want newer.
All Vehicles have Improved in Safety
Just because a bigger vehicle is safer than a smaller vehicle doesn’t mean that vehicle safety hasn’t improved dramatically all across the spectrum. In fact, over the 10 year period from 2006 to 2016, every class of vehicle saw huge improvements in safety (based on number of fatalities per million registered vehicles).
The bottom line: if you want the safest vehicle, a new SUV is going to be your best bet. But just about any modern vehicle is going to provide outstanding safety for you and your family.
Big Sky Collision Center Fixes Vehicles
If you have been involved in a car crash, bring your damaged vehicle to Big Sky Collision Center. We have expertly trained technicians that take ownership of their jobs. The result is that you get a vehicle repaired back to factory safety standards.