The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety analyzed the highest and lowest death rates for motor vehicles between 2002 and 2005. Interestingly, General Motors manufactured the automobile with the highest death rate as well as the vehicle with the lowest death rate, measured by driver deaths per million registered vehicles during the four-year span. The Chevy Blazer had the highest of any vehicle, with 232 driver deaths per million registered vehicles, followed by the Acura RSX with 202 driver deaths. The next highest death rate was found in the Nissan 350Z, with 193 deaths. The analysis was performed by dividing the reported number of driver deaths by the model’s number of registered years.
The lowest number of deaths was recorded by the Chevrolet Astro minivan, with only seven deaths per million registered vehicles. This was followed by the Infiniti G35, BMW 7 Series and the Toyota 4Runner.
In a strange twist, General Motors no longer manufactures either the Chevy Blazer or the Astro.
There is certainly an open question as to other variables not considered by the Insurance Institute, including the age and gender of the of the drivers involved.. Further, statistically speaking, it is likely that a driver of a Chevy Astro minivan is more likely to be, for example, a mom with children in the car, and much more likely to avoid risk taking behavior than the driver of a Chevy Blazer. It is hard to fathom that a Chevrolet Blazer is over thirty times safer than the Astro.
Without question, the drivers of heavier vehicles such as SUV’s and pickups are going to have lower death rates, even taking into consideration the driver profiles involved. With the cost of gasoline skyrocketing, automobile manufacturers are likely to make smaller vehicles in the future to improve gas mileage and make them more affordable to drive. However, based on the statistics of this study, it is an unfortunate fact that the smaller the vehicle, the more likely that there will be a commensurate rise in automobile death rates.