Imagine driving in a dangerous car that doesn’t keep you safe. It’s a scary thought. That’s why vehicle safety is incredibly important. Just like wearing a helmet while riding a bike or using a seatbelt, safety features in cars help protect us if accidents happen.
Some cars have better safety ratings than others. These ratings can vary from one car model to another, even if they look similar on the outside. When choosing a vehicle, look at several ratings to get the big picture. If multiple rating systems say a car is dangerous, consider going in a different direction. Doing so could help you avoid suffering a severe injury.
A dangerous car can have issues that can cause an accident. If that happens, anyone hurt could possibly sue the manufacturer. The Jones Law Group will be here if you’re ever in a wreck caused by a factor out of your control. Schedule a free case review by calling (727) 571-1333 or contacting us online.
Determining How a Car is “Dangerous”
When determining if a car is safe or potentially dangerous, experts use a combination of methods to evaluate its safety. These methods help them understand how well a car can protect you in case of an accident and whether any problems could make the car risky to drive. Here’s how they do it:
Imagine gathering data from all the car accidents that happen. Vehicle safety experts do precisely that. They look at how often a specific car model is involved in accidents. If a particular car is frequently in accidents, it might indicate something about the car that makes it harder to drive safely.
Safety Test Ratings
Scientists recreate accidents in a controlled environment to see how well a car holds up. They also measure things like how well the seatbelts and airbags work. Based on the results, they give the car a safety rating. More stars mean a safer car.
Recalls and Defects
Car manufacturers sometimes find problems with their vehicles after they’re already on the road. These problems are called defects.
If a car has many defects or something seriously wrong, the manufacturer might recall it. A recall is like a warning – it tells people that the car might not be safe to drive until the manufacturer fixes the problem.
Why Understanding This Criteria Matters
Looking at accident statistics, safety test ratings, and recalls helps you decide whether the car is right for you.
Likewise, paying attention to these criteria is still essential if you own a car. Knowing how safe your car is can help you drive more cautiously and be prepared in case of an accident. And if there’s a recall for your car, it’s crucial to address it promptly to ensure your safety.
The following are some of the dangerous models you might want to think twice about purchasing. If you already have one, please make sure to pay attention to any recalls or other safety issues.
Chevrolet Colorado Extended Cab
The Colorado Crew Cab is a light truck that received sub-standard grades from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as far back as 2011. The IIHS gave the truck a “poor” grade for side-impact performance and “marginal” grades in other critical areas.
These include rear impact and rollovers. General Motors (GM), which owns Chevrolet, recalled more than 5,000 Colorado pickups in 2011 due to seat belt defects.
Just as the Colorado brand has endured, so have the problems associated with the model. In 2022, GM recalled some Colorados due to front seat defects. Assemblers failed to attach the passenger seat to the frame properly. This defect puts occupants at significant risk of catastrophic injury if a crash occurs.
Kia Rio Sedan
Smaller cars typically don’t fare as well in crash tests. The Kia Rio is not different. When conducting crash tests of the Rio, the IIHS reported that the airbag barely brushed the head of the dummy. A driver’s head would be vulnerable to striking components in the front of the vehicle.
The test also showed a weakness with the front-left portion of the car. Drivers would risk suffering major leg injuries due to the door hinge pillar moving inward after impact.
According to one insurer, the 2005-10 model years of the Yaris are among the most dangerous cars built in the last half-century. One of the scariest issues is that the Yaris would shift gears and speed up without the driver doing anything (known as “ghost acceleration”). Another is that faulty wiring led to side airbags failing to deploy in an accident.
The number of personal injury claims linked to the 2009-11 versions of the Yaris is staggering. For every 1,000 covered by insurance, policyholders filed 28.5 claims. The Porsche 911 generated only 4.5. Toyota discontinued the Yaris in 2020.
Other Dangerous Models
The following briefly examines some of the other vehicles that make the “most dangerous” list.
- Mitsubishi Mirage – The Mirage is at the top of the IIHS list of driver death rates, with 205 per million registered on the road.
- Hyundai Accent – The Accent had a registered driver death rate of 152 per million, placing it at No. 4 on the IIHS list.
- Fiat 500 – The IIHS stated that the hinges of the driver door of the 2019 model were subject to tearing apart during an accident, increasing the risk of driver ejection. The Fiat 500 ranked No. 5 on the driver death rate list, with 95 per 1 million registered.
- Nissan Versa – The IIHS gave the Versa a “poor” rating due to the front driver’s side overlapping during crash tests, which would put a driver in danger of severe injuries. There were 88 fatalities per 1 million registered.
- Ford Mustang GT Coupe – The GT Coupe also made the driver death rates IIHS list, with 81 million fatalities per 1 million registrations. In addition, the IIHS only gave the 2015-2020 versions of the model “marginal” safety cage ratings.
- Chevrolet Spark – Like many other smaller cars, the Spark doesn’t offer as much protection in a crash as larger models. Unfortunately, the Spark doesn’t have many safety features that are standard in other models. It also doesn’t handle very well, according to Motor Trend. Chevy discontinued the Spark in 2022.
- Jeep Wrangler – Older models didn’t have airbags and fared poorly in crash tests. The IIHS gave the 2011 model of the four-door version a “poor” side-impact rating and a “marginal” rating for rear-impact performance.
Speak With an Experienced Jones Law Group Attorney
If you’ve suffered an injury while driving one of the above models or were hurt in an accident involving any other vehicle that wasn’t your fault, don’t hesitate to contact the Jones Law Group.