Safety Breakthrough: Nine 2011 Vehicles with No Driver Deaths

26781057_lA recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found nine 2011 model vehicles that had no recorded deaths of drivers. It is an amazing accomplishment in motor vehicle safety. Just eight years ago there were no models that had zero recorded deaths. And deaths are down substantially, overall. The last study, in 2009, found 48 deaths per one million registered 2008 model vehicles. This study found 28 per million 2011 vehicles.

Safer SUV’s

Perhaps the biggest shock of the study was the fact that six of the nine zero-death vehicles were SUV’s, and overall SUV’s had the lowest death rates of any vehicle type. Just a decade ago, SUVs were among the most deadly vehicles because of their rollover rate. The rollover rate of 2011 models is down 75% from the rate for 2004 models. The IIHS credits widespread adoption of electronic stability control (ESC) for the reduced rollover rates.

The Death-Proof 9

The IIHS only includes driver deaths in the study because they do not have data on passenger presence. The nine 2011 models with no recorded driver deaths, as of 2012, were:

  • Audi A4, 4WD
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Kia Sorento, 2WD
  • Lexus RX 350, 4WD
  • Mercedes-Benz GL-Class, 4WD
  • Subaru Legacy, 4WD
  • Toyota Highlander hybrid, 4WD
  • Toyota Sequoia, 4WD
  • Volvo XC90, 4WD

Smaller Vehicles = Higher Death Rates

In this most recent study, the smallest vehicles had the highest death rates. Only three models topped 100 deaths per million:

  • Kia Rio – 149
  • Nissan Versa sedan – 130
  • Hyundai Accent – 120
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