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). These statistics offer helpful insight into which vehicles on the roads of Florida are safest and which are most dangerous.
Historically, small cars have been found to be the most dangerous on the road. The 2014 model year data continued this trend: of the ten vehicles with the highest fatality rates, five were mini cars and three were small cars. The historical data has consistently found that small cars simply do not afford the protection that large vehicles do during a collision.
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.
Choice of Vehicle is No Substitute for Driver Vigilance
When a driver buys a “safer” vehicle, there is often the temptation to become complacent and simply trust the vehicle. The Mercury News recently examined this effect by sending a reporter to drive a Tesla with an Autopilot feature. While not fully autonomous, the vehicle’s Autopilot feature acts as both a cruise control and executes changes input by the driver. The reporter was unpleasantly startled to discover that a mere activation of the turn signal executed a nearly instantaneous lane change. The vehicle had already used its 360 degree cameras and computer to confirm that the lane was clear. The driver, however, did not yet know this.
The fact remains that no vehicle can completely eradicate the possibility of being injured in a car accident. While new vehicles boast an impressive variety of safety features – such as additional airbags, backup cameras, electronic stability control, and even the autonomous features of self-driving vehicles – they simply cannot replace defensive driving strategies. Drivers must continue to be constantly aware of their surroundings, and not allow themselves to become distracted by smart phones, in-vehicle entertainment systems, navigation devices, and other technology within the vehicle. Drivers also must not forget their earliest driving lessons, such as slowing down: (1) during rain, fog, or other conditions which create poor visibility; (2) in construction zones and school zones; and (3) when the roadway is slick, the driver’s vehicle is heavily loaded, or other conditions necessitate greater stopping distance.
The Right Personal Injury Attorneys for Any Florida Car Accident
If you are injured in a South Florida car accident, our dedicated attorneys can help you recover damages for:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering.
However, because of Florida's no-fault law - F.S. 627.727 - you must first meet the "serious injury" threshold in order to pursue those damages against the at-fault driver.
Residents of Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County all trust Gonzalez & Cartwright, P.A. to protect their legal interests after a car accident. The firm’s experienced Florida car accident attorneys have over thirty years of combined experience in fighting for full and fair compensation of personal injuries.