Larger cars still safer, according to Gov't report
Midsized and fullsized cars have the lowest death rate, according to report. SUVs have higher death rate than cars.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Despite improvements an engineering and safety technology, smaller passenger vehicles still have higher death rates than larger vehicles, according to a report released Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Occupants of compact cars had a fatality rate of 17.76 per 100,000 registered vehicles in 2004. Fullsize cars had a death rate of just 12.16 per 100,000, but midsized cars had an even lower death rate at 11.49.
Occupants of midsize and fullsize SUVs had slightly higher death rates than those in similarly-sized cars.
For vehicles involved in rollover accidents, SUV occupants fared worst of all. Midsized SUVs had the highest death rate (9.86) in rollover accidents. Fullsized SUV occupants suffered a death rate of 7.92 per 100,000 vehicles, the second-highest for any vehicle type. Midsized cars were safest in rollover accidents followed by full-sized passenger cars.
Vans had the lowest death rates of all vehicle types, according to the report. Minivans had a death rate of 11.09 while fullsized vans had a death rate of 9.34.
NHTSA compiled its report based on data from R.L. Polk & Co.'s National Vehicle Population Profile.