Safety is at the top of nearly every car shopper's list, with fuel economy often coming in second. We all know that a hybrid offers the latter, but would you believe that, from real-world data, a hybrid sedan takes the cake for being the safest as well?

Simply put, that extra mass is protective--it helps to protect the occupants from injury.

The IIHS recently finished a study which looked at real-world crash data, including insurance claims and accident reports, to find which models have a history of being safest. The top result came from the 2010-2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid, a car best known for achieving over 40 miles per gallon in city driving conditions. Now it can add another accolade to the list. The Fusion Hybrid scored 25% better than the average for personal injuries amongst all vehicles.

The fact that hybrid drivers typically drive more efficiently could be the answer to the Fusion's safe record, but Matt Moore, Vice President of the Highway Loss Data Institute, offered another explanation to car shopping site Autotrader

"The Fusion Hybrid is several hundred pounds heavier than the non-hybrid Fusion. It is one of the heaviest vehicles in the mid-size four-door class. Simply put, that extra mass is protective--it helps to protect the occupants from injury," said Mr. Moore.

In any event, grabbing the top two key purchasing factors (safety and fuel economy) can only help the hybrid movement for Ford and others alike.

[Source: Autotrader]

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