What are the Top 10 Deadliest Cars in America?


It’s well understood by people who regularly deal with car accidents that most car crashes are caused by driver error. But how bad a driver or passenger is injured or whether anyone survives a car crash is often determined by the design of the car.

Some cars are more dangerous than others. Thanks to improved safety standards, today’s U.S. automobiles offer better protection in a crash, but the nature of physics makes smaller and faster cars more deadly in a collision.

Several groups have recently studied crash statistics and named America’s most accident-prone cars. These lists differ somewhat due to the different methodologies used to compile them, but they tell us that sports cars and subcompacts are the most dangerous cars on the road.

America’s Top 10 Deadliest Cars

Automotive research firm iSeeCars.com analyzed data from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) to determine the vehicles most likely to be involved in a deadly collision. Data showed that 14 vehicle models, 12 of which were either subcompact cars or sports cars, were at least twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision as compared to the average vehicle.

Its Top 10 Cars with the Most Frequent Occupant Fatalities are:

  1. Mitsubishi Mirage
  2. Chevrolet Corvette
  3. Honda Fit
  4. Kia Forte
  5. Chevrolet Spark
  6. Subaru BRZ
  7. Nissan 370Z
  8. Nisan Versa
  9. Kia Rio
  10. Dodge Challenger.

Fewer subcompacts and sports cars have active safety features – such as forward collision warning, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring – and subcompacts tend to perform poorly on crash safety tests, iSeeCars says.

Phong Ly, the CEO of iSeeCars, said that despite advances in safety technology, the data suggest that small vehicles aren’t as safe as larger vehicles in serious accidents. Subcompact cars have a fatal accident rate of 4.5 cars per billion vehicle miles, which is almost double the overall average.

“Sports cars are the vehicle segment with the highest fatal accident rate,” Phong Ly said. “They’re designed to prioritize speed and acceleration, so it is perhaps no surprise that their accidents result in a high number of fatalities.”

The average fatal accident rate for all vehicles is 2.6 per billion vehicle miles. For passenger cars (excluding SUVs and light trucks) it is 3.3 per billion vehicle miles. By comparison, the Mitsubishi Mirage has a fatal accident rate of 10.2 per billion vehicle miles and the Dodge Challenger (No. 10) has a rate of 5.8 per billion vehicle miles.

In New York, the Kia Forte is most likely to be in a fatal accident, according to ISeeCars. In New Jersey, it is the Nissan Frontier.

10 Car Models Most Often in Accidents

Online insurance broker Insurify pulled information from its database of over 1.6 million requests for car insurance quotes, which includes drivers’ self-reported driving records, to determine which car models have the most prior accidents.

For each model, the number of drivers with an at-fault accident from the past seven years was analyzed against the population of drivers owning that model as a whole.

Insurify’s 10 Car Models with the Most Accidents are:

  1. Subaru Crosstrek
  2. Honda HR-V
  3. Hyundai Elantra GT
  4. Infiniti Q50
  5. Subaru WRX
  6. Mazda3
  7. Acura ILX
  8. Lexus CT
  9. Chevrolet Trax
  10. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

In total, 13.64 percent of all models on the road have at least one prior accident, Insurify says. The percentage of Subaru Crosstreks with a prior accident is 25.81 percent.

The 2019 edition of the Crosstrek received the highest possible safety rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). The percentage of Hyundai Santa Fe Sports on the road that has been in a car crash is 23.92 percent. 

Insurify notes that a total of eight different manufacturers had a car on its list, and no maker was represented more than twice.

Top 10 Auto Companies with Cars in Fatal Accidents

Another online broker, AutoInsurance.org, used federal accident data along with publications from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine how many fatal crashes each of the 50 most popular vehicle brands was involved in and how many total fatal crashes occurred in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. according to 2017 statistics.

The broker’s Top 10 Vehicle Makes Involved in the Most Fatal Crashes are:

  1. Ford
  2. Chevrolet
  3. Toyota
  4. Honda
  5. Dodge
  6. Nissan
  7. GMC
  8. Jeep
  9. Hyundai
  10. Chrysler

Ford was the top-selling brand in America for the eighth year in a row in 2017 and its F-Series has been the best-selling pickup truck in the nation for 41 straight years. Given the number of Ford vehicles on the road, it may not be a surprise to see Ford at the top of the list for involvement in a fatal accident. While there were 63,500 more Toyotas sold in the U.S. in 2017, there were 2,866 more fatal crashes involving Chevys, so this is not simply a bestseller list.

Fords and Chevrolets represent 22 and 21 percent, respectively, of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. in 2017 – nearly half of all deadly car crashes between the two of them.

The AutoInsurance.org list also breaks out fatal car crashes by state, finding most occurring in Texas, then California and Florida in 2017, as has been the case for three years of the survey.

An average of 3,287 people are killed in car crashes every day in the U.S., according to federal statistics compiled by Safer America, a consumer safety information site.

Contact A Car Accident Lawyer at David Resnick & Associates

Car accident statistics and Top 10 lists are interesting. But when you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by another driver in New York, you need an experienced New York car accident lawyer to help you. New York car accident claims are complex because New York has a no-fault auto insurance system. A lawyer who is familiar with car accident claims in New York can help you determine the value of your claim and seek the full compensation you deserve.

For more than 20 years, the car accident attorneys at David Resnick & Associates, P.C., have successfully represented clients throughout New York City in negotiations with auto insurers and in car accident lawsuits. Contact us today by calling (917) 722-1852 or by filling out our online contact form to set up a free initial evaluation of your case.

Author: David Resnick

Founder of David Resnick & Associates, P.C., a New York personal injury law firm in charge of providing exceptional and personal service to each of our clients in various areas including car accidents, slip and fall, wrongful death, construction accidents, and premises liability. David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care.

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