VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Bigger cars offer passengers more protection

Florida motorists know that car crashes can happen at any time. But the chances of serious injury differ depending on a variety of circumstances, one of which is the size of the car. A vehicle's crashworthiness is determined by its size and weight in addition to its materials and structural integrity. Technological advances can aid drivers and have the potential to reduce the risk of, but bigger, heavier vehicles often simply hold up better and give more protection to occupants.

Drivers and front-seat passengers are given less protection during a front-end collision in smaller cars, especially cars with short front ends. The bigger the front end of a car is, the more of the impact it will absorb. A car slows while the front end is being crushed, so a bigger front end also means that impact to the front-seat passengers would happen at a slower rate of speed, which could result in less severe injuries.

The overall weight of a car makes a difference in the safety of passengers during crashes as well. Lighter cars slow down more quickly and transfer more crash impact to their passengers. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, smaller and lighter cars have approximately double the crash fatality rates of heavier cars. Tests have given conflicting results about size and crash performance. Many models of small cars have tended to do well in tests where they are crashed into other vehicles of similar size, but pitting different sized vehicles against each other in crash tests has consistently shown that larger vehicles have an advantage.

When two vehicles collide, it is often assumed that one driver is at fault. Most motor vehicle accidents are the result of human error, and a person who has been injured in a crash caused by the negligence of another driver might want to have the help of a lawyer when attempting to recover damages.

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