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Study: Hybrid drivers are safer from injury in a crash

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    Study: Hybrid drivers are safer from injury in a crash

    Filed under: Hybrid, Safety

    Hybrid models have the advantage of fuel economy over their gas-only siblings, but it appears that batteries and electric motors make them safer as well. The Highway Loss Data Institute studied 25 2003 to 2011 vehicles that featured both conventional and hybrid powertrains (example: Honda Civic and Honda Civic Hybrid). The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight were not included in the study since neither vehicle has a conventionally-powered counterpart.

    The data shows that occupants are 27 percent less likely to be injured if they're in the hybrid version of the vehicle. There are several reasons why the hybrid is safer, but the biggest factor is weight. Heavier cars are safer than lighter vehicles, since the added mass means that the heavier vehicle will transfer force to the lighter vehicle. That's good for occupants and insurance companies, as the hybrids need 25 percent less personal injury protection than their conventional counterparts.

    But while hybrids have proven to be safer than their non-hybrid counterparts, the story isn't as good for pedestrian crashes. HDLI finds that hybrid vehicles are 20 percent more likely to be involved in pedestrian crashes with injuries. The study claims that pedestrians might get involved in more accidents with hybrids because they can't hear the cars when they're in electric mode. We'd add that low rolling resistance tires often contribute to longer braking distances, and the heavier hybrids are also slower and less maneuverable than their non-hybrid counterparts.

    Hit the jump to read over the details of the study.Continue reading Hybrid drivers are safer from injury in a crash
    Hybrid drivers are safer from injury in a crash originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 19 Nov 2011 16:03:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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