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Study Finds Hybrids Are Safer in Auto Accidents

November 28th, 2011

Hybrids Safer in Accidents

If you drive a hybrid, you are 25% less-likely to be injured in the event of a collision, a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (an IIHS affiliate) shows. The Institute compared injury claim statistics from hybrid and standard versions of the same vehicle, like the Toyota Highlander and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Per accident, hybrid drivers and passengers were 25% less likely to become injured.

The primary factor is weight. It’s not uncommon for a hybrid to weigh 500 lbs. more than its gas-only counterpart, with added heft helping protect occupants. The lighter the car, the greater disadvantage in the event of a crash, physics show.

[See more from the CarsDirect Hybrid Buying Guide.]

Other factors? Hybrid drivers are probably less likely to drive recklessly and therefore become involved in severe collisions. Also, hybrids traditionally come with a very high level of standard safety equipment missing or optional on cheaper gas-powered models.

On a down note, a separate HLDI study found that hybrids were 20% more likely to be involved in injury-causing pedestrian collisions than comparable non-hybrid counterparts.

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