If you’re trying to find a safe vehicle to drive, you may automatically be drawn toward taller vehicles, such as pickup trucks and SUVs. They give you a sense that you are further removed from the road and less vulnerable. People often feel safer driving in them and choose them for this reason.
But are they actually safer? Does the height of the vehicle matter at all?
They may be safer in multiple-car collisions
It is true that, if you’re involved in a two-vehicle collision, being in the taller vehicle can keep you safer. Studies have found that fatality rates are lower, overall, in large vehicles when compared to smaller ones.
For one thing, the impact point is higher. Small vehicles run the risk of taking an impact to the front windshield, while taller vehicles are going to take that impact to the bumper and the engine block. The structure of the larger vehicle is therefore more likely to hold up in a crash.
Additionally, these large vehicles are going to be heavier, and there is evidence that heavier vehicles tend to transfer more energy into smaller vehicles during a crash. If you’re in the larger vehicle, the sheer physics of the situation means that less energy may be impacted on your body and you may not suffer as severe of injuries.
That said, there are also dangers with larger vehicles. Some taller vehicles may be more likely to be involved in a rollover accident, for example. But these are a relatively rare kind of accident, compared to two-car collisions.
If you do get involved in a crash that someone else causes, and you suffer injuries, be sure you know how to seek financial compensation.