January 31, 2006, - 10:19 am
By Debbie Schlussel
For all the attacks on SUVs by environmentalists and phonies like Arianna Huffington and Laurie David, one thing remains constant: death rates in compact cars are the highest.
That’s what the latest National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s report, released yesterday, says for the gazillionth time. As AP reports:
People love compact cars as gas prices soar, but there’s a sobering cost: The government says they have the highest fatality rate.
Compacts had a fatality rate of 17.76 per 100,000 vehicles in 2004, followed by compact pickup trucks with 16.87 and subcompact vehicles with 16.85, according to a report Monday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Large vans had the lowest rate, 9.34, while pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles had rates of about 15 deaths.
The report examined fatality data from 1997 to 2004 to compare death rates among different types of vehicles. It reaffirmed past studies that found smaller and lighter vehicles more vulnerable to fatalities compared with their counterparts.
“You can never repeal the laws of physics, and a smaller, lighter vehicle is always at a disadvantage no matter how many safety features are built into it,” said Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Virginia-based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Rader, whose organization has conducted similar studies, said even with “all the air bags in the world,” smaller and lighter vehicles in a category typically have higher death rates than larger models in the same category.
Tags: Arianna Huffington, Debbie Schlussel, gas prices, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Laurie David, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Russ Rader, spokesman, Virginia