Highway Loss Data Institute

November 26, 2011 by staff 

Highway Loss Data Institute, Hybrid cars don’t only save the planet and your gas money, but they’ll also save you in an accident. Drivers are 25 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than drivers of a standard car.

A study by theHighway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, looked at crash data for more than 25 hybrid cars with conventional counterparts.

But safety is a double-edged sword in this case.

While hybrids are the sturdier choice for drivers, they’re far more dangerous for the greener travelers – pedestrians. The fuel-efficient vehicles are 20 percent more likely to be involved in an accident with a pedestrian than a standard car.

Heavier cars are less likely to take damage than lighter cars, and the battery that powers a hybrid adds more weight to the vehicle than an internal combustion-powered engine. The cars are about 10 percent heavier on average, and therefore more durable in a crash, the report said.

For example, the hybrid Honda Accord sedan weighs as much as 480 lbs more than a standard Accord, and a hybrid Toyota Highlander weighs about 330 lbs more than its counterpart. The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight were not part of the study because there is no standard car in the same model.

After the impact, smaller cars are sent backward with much more force than heavier vehicles, making it more likely for the passengers of a smaller car to be injured.

Claims for accident where the driver is at fault were much lower among hybrid drivers as well. Collision claims, which pay to repair the driver-at-fault’s vehicle, were 27 percent lower than conventional vehicles, and MedPay claims, which covers medical costs for the driver and passenger, were 25 percent lower.

Rather than boosting fuel efficiency by decreasing the size of the car, the trend among car makers is turning to more efficient engines and hybrids, the report said. Both the safer and smarter choice. Drivers no longer have to choose between fuel efficiency and safety.

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