Area of Law:
We know that hybrid vehicles save gas. But do they also save lives? According to recent research done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the answer is “yes.”
As a general rule, the occupants of smaller, lighter, more fuel-efficient automobiles don’t fare as well in crashes as those in larger, heavier vehicles. An exception to that general rule is hybrid vehicles.
As a matter of fact, according to statistics compiled by the Highway Loss Data Institute, the chances of being injured in a crash are 25% lower in hybrid cars than they are in the same models of non-hybrid cars. How can this be?
The batteries that power hybrid cars take up lots of room, and are very heavy, increasing the car’s weight by 10%. The extra weight reduces injuries to the occupants of these vehicles.
Of course, while drivers and passengers may fare better in hybrid vehicles, pedestrians don’t. It's important to note that because they are so quiet when running, hybrid vehicles have a 20% more chance of being involved in a pedestrian accident. Pedestrians simply don’t hear cars coming, and so step off the curb or into the street when they shouldn’t. Because of the high incidence of pedestrian accidents, the Department of Transportation is currently investigating ways to make them more audible to pedestrians.
Of the cars tested for the study, the Ford Focus won top honor. Since then, it has been widely reported that the Tesla 5 received one of the highest safety ratings of any car ever.
The bottom line is that any apprehension about the safety of hybrid cards vs. conventional gas engine cars is misplaced. Several models of hybrid cards are more safe - in fact and on the whole, most models are at least as safe as their fossil fuel counterparts.
Please remember that if you are ever injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
About the author
Joseph Lombardo is an Atlantic City personal injury attorney who has been representing clients in Atlantic County, New Jersey for over 15 years.