In the battle between physics and technology, nature still seems to hold a slight edge. According to a report released by NHTSA, compact cars continue to suffer from a fatality rate approximately 46% greater than fullsize cars.

Interestingly enough, midsize-class cars have a slightly lower death rate than fullsizes. I'm not quite sure what this means - are cars in this class typically more modern and thus safer, or does this class represent a "sweet spot" where there's enough size and mass to protect the occupants, but not so much bulk that the added energy overwhelms any structural advantages?

SUVs show slightly higher fatality rates and were generally more deadly in rollover accidents than equivalent-sized passenger cars, but vans are safest overall. I'm also at a loss to explain that one, except to say that piloting a van in the manner prefered by B.A. Baracus or Bernard Campbell must be the exception and not the rule.


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