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9 cars with zero driver fatalities

February 28, 2015 by Steven M. Gursten

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says these are the safest car models for avoiding car accident fatalities

The Audi A4, four-wheel drive, is named the top safest car by the IIHS.
The Audi A4, four-wheel drive, is named the top safest car by the IIHS.

As an auto accident attorney, I get asked about the safest cars to drive all the time.

And like I wrote in my blog post last week about the 19 deadliest car models, the good news is, we’re moving away from an era where some cars were incredibly dangerous – such as the Ford Pinto exploding fuel tanks and kids getting caught in windows. New and evolving technology, like driverless cars and accident prevention systems, are paving the way for less crashes.  And some cars on the road today are remarkably safer than others.

Today, I’d like to share a list from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety on the cars with the lowest fatal crash rates:


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety studied driver deaths between 2009 and 2012 for mass-market vehicles. Overall, it found that new models with newer technology, especially stability control, had cut the overall death rate in vehicles by a third in the three years since, according to a recent article on Yahoo Autos, “Death-proof cars? Study finds nine models with zero driver fatalities.”

The IIHS calculates its death rate per years registered of a particular model. The industry average is 28 deaths per one million registered vehicles for 2011 models in 2012. In 2008, the rate was 48.

The good news is, the IIHS found nine 2011 models that had no recorded deaths of drivers — the first time the group had found any such vehicles. Six of the models were SUVs; of which overall, had the lowest death rates of any vehicle type. I believe this is mostly due to mandated electronic stability controls and the physics of larger vehicles offering more protection from the forces involved in a motor vehicle crash than smaller cars. Hence, the reason my kids will be in four-wheel drive SUVs when it comes their turn to drive, assuming they are even the ones doing the driving at that point in our future, and are not just being whisked along in whatever Uber or Google or Apple autonomous vehicle is on the roads in the years ahead.

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