If you own a Mitsubishi Mirage, you might want to be extra careful the next time you back out of your driveway and take to the road.
The Mirage is the most dangerous car to drive in the U.S., according to a recent study by automotive research firm and car search engine iSeeCars.com.
The Chevrolet Corvette and the Honda Fit round out the top three cars with the most frequent occupant fatalities.
Not surprisingly, small cars and sports cars are the most likely to put your life in jeopardy. In fact, fatalities are almost twice as likely to occur in car crashes if you are traveling in a subcompact or sports car.
In reaching its conclusions, iSeeCars.com analyzed fatality data from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System for cars from the model years 2013-2017, as well as iSeeCars.com’s own data on more than 25 million used cars from the same model years.
Fourteen models were found to be at least twice as likely as the average car to be involved in a fatal accident. Those that made the list — and their fatal accident rates — are:
- Mitsubishi Mirage (subcompact car): 10.2 cars per billion vehicle miles (meaning 10.2 vehicles are in fatal crashes for every billion miles traveled)
- Chevrolet Corvette (sports car): 9.8
- Honda Fit (subcompact car): 7.7
- Kia Forte (compact car): 7.4
- Chevrolet Spark (subcompact car): 7.2
- Subaru BRZ (sports car): 6.9
- Nissan 370Z (sports car): 6.2
- Nissan Versa (subcompact car): 6.1
- Kia Rio (subcompact car): 5.9
- Dodge Challenger (sports car): 5.8
- Chevrolet Camaro (sports car): 5.5
- Kia Soul (compact car): 5.3
- Hyundai Veloster Turbo (sports car): 5.2
- Nissan Versa Note (subcompact car): 5.2
Compare those numbers with the average fatal accident rate for all vehicles: 2.6.
Subcompact cars and sports cars are the most represented vehicle categories on the list, with a half-dozen cars from each category.
The CEO of iSeeCars.com, Phong Ly, says that recent advances in safety technology have not made small vehicles as safe as larger vehicles when they are involved in serious accidents. He continues:
“Subcompact cars have a fatal accident rate of 4.5 cars per billion vehicle miles, which is almost double the overall average. Sports cars are the vehicle segment with the highest fatal accident rate of 4.6 cars per billion vehicle miles.”
Ly notes that subcompact cars routinely lack some safety features found in bigger models and that these cars continue to suffer below-average performance on crash safety tests.
Meanwhile, he says sports cars “are designed to prioritize speed and acceleration, so it is perhaps no surprise that their accidents result in a high number of fatalities.”
Staying safe when you drive
While bigger cars may be safer to drive than smaller alternatives, no car is safe if you fail to care for it properly.
With temperatures and the summer travel season both peaking, it’s crucial to have a mechanic look over your car to make sure it’s in road-ready condition.
For example, checking your tires regularly could save your life. As we note in “7 Simple Ways to Keep Your Car Safe for Summer Driving“:
“Underinflation stresses a tire’s internal fabric and steel cord so that they flex beyond designed limits and lose their bond to the rubber. The result can be a blowout.”
So, have a professional inspect your tires and other parts of your car. Looking for a good mechanic? Check out “11 Keys to Finding a Car Mechanic You Can Trust.”
How do you stay extra safe when you climb behind the wheel? Share your tips in comments below or on our Facebook page.