Hybrid vehicles safer in crashes

November 19, 2012 12:00 AM

Hybrid cars are known for their strong fuel efficiency performance, but recent data shows these vehicles may be safer in car crashes as well.

According to a report by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the odds of being injured in a crash are reduced by 25 percent for those in hybrids than in other models. The fatality rate was also lower in hybrid vehicles.

The safest hybrid car was the 2010-2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which scored 25 percent better than average with regard to protecting passengers from personal injuries, Translogic reports.

Part of the reason hybrids are safer is because they have a weight advantage. On average, these vehicles are about 10 percent heavier than regular cars, and that extra mass provides protection in crashes. It also helps to limit the auto repair often needed after an accident.

The study also found that hybrid cars may cause more danger to pedestrians than their standard counterparts. When they operate in electric mode, hybrids make little to no sound, and many pedestrians are unable to hear the cars on the road. As a result, hybrids are roughly 20 percent more likely to be involved in crashes with pedestrians. 


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