Thanks to improved vehicle designs and safety technology, a driver’s chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have dropped by more than a third in three years, according to new research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Among 2011 models, a record total of nine recorded driver death rates of zero, the IIHS report said. These models are the Audi A4 4WD, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorento 2WD, Lexus RS 350 4WD, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class 4WD, Subaru Legacy 4WD, Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4WD, Toyota Sequoia 4WD and Volvo XC90 4WD.
“This is a huge improvement in just three years, even considering the economy’s influence,” said David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. “We know from our vehicle ratings program that crash test performance has been getting steadily better. These latest death rates provide new confirmation that real-world outcomes are improving, too.”
At the other end of the spectrum, however, three cars had death rates exceeding 100 per million registered vehicle years, according to the report. Those cars are the Kia Rio (149), Nissan Versa (130) and Hyundai Accent (120).
For more details about the IIHS research, click here.