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Is Your Car Too Small To Be Safe?

Indeed, the presence of pricey sports cars at the top of the “low injury claims” list seems to be yet another statistical oddity owing to the unusual usage patterns of such vehicles.

"We measure claim counts over insured vehicle years," explains Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. "But if you think about trophy car like Corvettes, they tend to be owned by people with multiple vehicles, and they tend to be garaged more often."

So personal injury claims per vehicle are relatively low for sports cars, but not because those cars are safer in a crash or because their operators are safe drivers. Rather, they simply spend a lot less time on the road. Sorry speedsters, you don't really have a safer car going for you.

The Chevy Silverado 2500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee rank among safest to their own drivers and passengers. (The vehicles with the lowest level of PIP claims are the Porsche 911 2-door and Chevrolet Corvette 2-door. The Porsche, for example, is 68 percent less likely to have a PIP claim than the average vehicle. Isn't that odd? See sidebar at left.) The rest of the top 10 also are larger cars.

By contrast, the Toyota Yaris, Suzuki SX4, Chevrolet Aveo and other small or mini sized cars the bulk of the top 10 list of vehicles with the most claims for personal injury claims.

So word to the wise: The bigger the car, the less likely you are to get injured while driving it.

"The smaller the vehicle you're in, the more likely you are to hit something larger than you," explains Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute. "And if you do, you're more likely to be injured."

More trouble with small cars

What's not easily explained, though, is that smaller cars (like the Rio and Accent) likewise dominate the "bodily injury liability" category. Seven of the 10 models with the highest likelihood of causing injury to passengers in another vehicle are small or mini sized.

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