• Apr 19, 2007
click above image to view the entire IIHS Status Report for Driver Deaths

The Chevrolet Blazer (not to be confused with the Trailblazer) continues to statistically be the most deadly vehicle on the road. Looking at statistics from 2002 through 2005, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that drivers of two-door, 2WD Chevy Blazers built from 2001 to 2004 had 232 drive deaths per million registered vehicles. The average number of deaths in the same time period was 79 deaths per million.

In General Motors' defense, spokesman Alan Adler said this in the Associated Press article, "The study doesn't really take into account driver behavior or how the vehicles are used so it's difficult to really draw much significance." Which, coincidentally, is pretty much exactly what he said in 2005, when the Blazer was first named the deadliest vehicle on the road.

But, he's got a point that the IIHS research backs up. The vehicle with the lowest number of deaths per million was the Chevy Astro minivan, with seven deaths per million.

In case you're curious, the second deadliest was the Acura RSX with 202, and third was the Nissan 350Z with 193. On the other end with the Astro was the Infinit G35, BMW 7 Series and Toyota 4Runner.

[Source: The Associated Press]


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  • 21 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      . . . and then they joke about the Explorer.

      http://fomoconews.com/forums/
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Before you flame me, I was a young male about 20 years ago." That didn't come out right, Jeff! We assume you were younger twenty years ago but has the sex changed since?

      The pieces of junk I drove when young, only goes to show I have horseshoes up the .....Gravel roads driven at 70 MPH and tie rods about to pop out.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Carlos, I also grew up in a predominantly wealthy area... a $4-6k Blazer isn't even on the rich kids radar.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Mike, I didn't say the rich kids died a lot... just crashed a lot, and took more risks. They're more likely to treat their cars as a toy, more likely to be on the phone, more likely to have collision insurance, less scared of the financial impact of a traffic ticket, and more likely to show off their car's abilities to their friends.
      But they're more likely to be in safer, better-maintained cars and have better tires.

      Interesting: the Vibe has a lot more rollover deaths than the Matrix (29:7). That makes no sense, I don't think they had different options, and stability control wasn't available until 2005, whereas the survey only covers '02-'04 cars.

      And my Miata's less likely to get me killed than a Suburban or most pickups. Weird.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Blazer is not only unsafe due to the types of drivers, but it has *abysmal* emergency handling, which doesn't help.

      The fact that the Astro was listed as "safest" (I just saw it referred to as such on the news) is absolutely terrifying. This is almost totally because of the drivers. Have you seen the crash tests on that thing? Some of the worst I've ever seen, period.

      http://www.iihs.org/ratings/controls/image.ashx?rh=66&id=1&s=120

      Hopefully no one's stupid enough to think "Oh, I'll e so safe in an Astro!" and dig up a used one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's about time they found something negative about owning a 2 door Blazer. Dang!
      • 7 Years Ago
      The vast predominance of Blazers are cheap, relatively lightweight, and have a big engine.

      It's a perfect formula to have a teen driver zooming through the backroads towards an intimate engagement with a roadside tree.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where is the Subaru Impreza on this list ?
      • 7 Years Ago
      This article presents a seriously flawed analysis to support an inflammatory headline.

      The IIHS' own site presents the injury claims records for vehicles by model year and category. The 2002 Blazer has a significantly better than average injury claim rating.

      I would guess that the death rate has more to do - as others here suggest - with the demographic these vehicles attract. I'm guessing that this demographic might also include a higher than normal incidence of seatbelt apathy and enthusiasm for alcohol...

      The 2002-2005 incidence of injuries in 4WD SUVs:
      http://www.iihs.org/brochures/ictl/ictl_4wd_suvs.html

      Also from the IIHS website "INJURY, COLLISION, & THEFT LOSSES by make and model, 2003-2005 models" http://www.iihs.org/brochures/ictl/ictl.html

      "Vehicles with high death rates often have high frequencies of insurance claims for occupant injuries. For example, small 2- and 4-door cars typically have high death rates and higher-than-average insurance injury claims experience. Some vehicles (e.g., sports cars) can have low injury claim frequencies but a high relative rate of severe or fatal injuries because of the manner in which they’re driven."

      By the way, what has always fascinated me about the injury claim data is how it doesn't overlay very well with safety ratings and claims such as the one where smaller and more maneuverable cars can avoid accidents better. Yes, in theory but...
      • 7 Years Ago
      I gotta agree with #8. The rich kids always totaled two or three brand new cars and us poor kids were careful as hell with our used beaters.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That's funny, because my sister was in a particular nasty accident a few years ago in her Blazer. She got caught between a guy stopped at a light and a fully loaded 10 wheel Sterling dumptruck. The Blazer took the front bumper of the dumptruck in the tailgate at no less than 40 miles per hour. One of the cops at the scene later told her that she was extremely lucky she was driving such a hardy SUV, she escaped with only a minor case of whiplash.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Others have not been so lucky in Blazer accidents. But most vehicles are good at frontal impacts like that. Even Miatas - my friend and his wife were totally unharmed after a head-on with a livery car making a left turn through a red (there was enough time to brake to what the police estimated as a 35mph closing speed).

      In a Blazer and some of the other vehicles on that list, you're better off hitting something than swerving and risking a roll.
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