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Car Crash Fatality Rates Higher in “Muscle Cars”


A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) investigated the relationship between car crash fatality rates and vehicle type, looking specifically at muscle cars and other smaller passenger cars. The study determined that, even though this type of vehicle does not tend to be the smallest or most compact car on the road, it is the most dangerous in terms of the likelihood of a fatality in the event of a collision. While the study at once confirms the long-held belief that smaller motor vehicles are less safe in a crash, the study clarified that certain smaller vehicles might be more dangerous, and that size alone is not the only factor. Our Shreveport auto injury lawyers can tell you more about the study, and we can speak with you today about filing a car crash claim and seeking compensation.

Muscle Cars and Certain Small Vehicles Result in Greatest Number of Fatalities 

The new study from the IIHS, discussed recently in Car and Driver, determined that occupants of “muscle cars” were most likely to be killed when involved in a collision. For quite some time, as the IIHS researchers reported, there has been an assumption that smaller vehicles are more dangerous than larger ones, and occupants of smaller vehicles are more likely to be injured or killed when they are involved in a wreck. Yet there may be more at stake than simply the type of vehicle or its safety features. More specifically, the type of driver might be one of the defining factors.

What vehicles are typically considered muscle cars? According to Progressive, there are distinctions between muscle cars and sports cars, and it is important to be clear about those. Indeed, as Progressive explains, “muscle cars and sports cars are designed to hit high speeds and provide a fun way of getting from point A to point B,” but “muscle cars have more powerful engineers and also feature larger and boxier designs.” Differently, “sports cars are small and sleek and hug the road while driving.” To be sure, “muscle cars are traditionally bulkier while sports cars are still small and sleek.” In other words, muscle cars are not the smallest vehicles on the road, but being an occupant in them in a crash appears to result in the highest rate of fatalities.

How Driver Type Affects the Relative Fatality Risk of Certain Vehicles 

Certain vehicles do have better or more improved safety features, and size alone can sometimes mean — relatively speaking — that fatalities to occupants may be less likely. Yet driver deaths and vehicle occupant deaths in muscle cars appear to be tied to the driver behaviors of the motorist behind the wheel. The IIHS study noted that “muscle cars are sold with a profile that alludes to aggressive driving,” and the researchers are currently operating under the theory that “the way people think of a muscle car can contribute to actual, on-road deaths.”

To put that information another way, muscle car fatalities may be more likely due to shared driver behaviors rather than anything to do with the vehicle itself.

Contact a Shreveport Motor Vehicle Injury Attorney 

Whether you were injured in a collision caused by a muscle car driver or a motorist in any type of vehicle, one of the experienced Shreveport auto accident lawyers at Rice & Kendig, LLC can assist you with a claim for compensation.


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