There is nothing like getting in the driver’s seat of your car, rolling the windows down, turning on some good music, and going for a drive. If you have a convertible, even better to put the top down and feel the wind in your hair! But of course, sometimes our drives on the open road don’t go as smoothly as we hope and accidents happen. Thank goodness for car insurance, right? But sometimes, accidents happen that are much more than little fender benders, and unfortunately can cost people their lives. With the recent death of Paul Walker shedding light on the dangers of not only racing, but the safety of certain brands of cars, we have to wonder…are there cars that are more dangerous than others?
Simply put, the answer is yes. When it comes to car buying, safety should always be a priority, but sometimes style and make takes the priority. Let’s face it; there are some cars that seem virtually indestructible while others look like they can be crushed as easily as an aluminum can. In the United States alone, over 40,000 people are killed every year. In fact, it is known that you are most likely to die from a car accident than something more catastrophic such as a plane crash.
So, out of all of the different types of cars out there, which make and models are the most dangerous and lead to the most fatalities? Here is a list of the deadliest cars according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most of which are from the year 2001-2004. Of course, as time goes by, there may be models removed and more added to the list, but as you go out car shopping, be sure to do your research when it comes to safety. Regardless of cost or style, compromising safety could very well cost you your life.
10. Pontiac GrandAm (2 door) – 160 million
The Pontiac GrandAm (Pontiac being a division of General Motors) has a vast history spanning back to the seventies with its first inception occurring from 1973-1975, then the models took a three year break and returned from 1978-1980, then they took another break with another return lasting from 1985 until 2005. So, there may be a chance or two that we will see the GrandAm again in the future. There were some notable safety issues in the 2003 models, especially the 2-door make in terms of frontal crash testing and the strength of the structure. Tests noted potential injuries in the right leg as well as the head.
9. Dodge Neon – 161 million
Outside of the United States, the Dodge Neon is known as the Chrysler Neon. But we all know that a rose known by any other name is still a rose, and a Neon known by any other name is still a Neon, with a haunting record of fatalities behind the car. The first Neon came out in 1995 and the model continued to be made until 2005. Even from its first inception, the Neon received a poor rating in terms of safety from an offset crash test. Even as time progressed, the Neon just didn’t show improvement as it failed numerous tests and inspections for safety.
8. Mitsubishi Eclipse – 169 million
The Mitsubishi Eclipse was actually labeled a “death car” by several reviewers. Meaning that all they did was drive the car and felt unsafe. But what were the reasons for this harsh label? Drivers noted that the car lost traction fairly easily as well as the car being too light for the functioning of the car. But when it comes to sport compact cars, the Eclipse is definitely the go-to car for that hobby. However, as of 2011, the Eclipse is no longer in production, but Mitsubishi has brought out new models that will replace the well known “death car”.
7. Chevrolet Cavalier (2 door) – 171 million
The Chevrolet Cavalier had a lifespan that started in 1985, and was then eventually put to rest in 2005. Perhaps it is because the third generation Cavaliers were receiving significantly lower scores in terms of safety than previous models. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated it one of the most dangerous cars in comparison to other makes and models. Needless to say, the 1995-2005 models were rated very poorly for safety, which is why it made the list of the most fatal cars on the market.
6. Kia Rio – 175 million
This mini four-door car is a basic sub-compact car that has the worst record for multi-car crash fatalities among its class. And that’s a pretty big deal since the Hyundai, a nearly identical car and leader of its class, has a third fewer deaths. So why the dramatic difference? The Kia Rio has minimal safety features, meaning that there are “just enough” safety features to put the car on the market, but not enough to save your life should you ever be in an intense crash. Hopefully the newer models have beefed up their safety standards!
5. Pontiac Sunfire – 179 million
The Pontiac Sunfire is a subcompact car and associated with 179 million fatalities. Most of the issues are associated with the 2002 and 2003 make. According to carcomplaints.com, there were many issues associated with the electrical function of the car as well engine and fuel system issues. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sunfire a poor rating in the frontal crash test. The Sunfire line was introduced in 1995 and after the number of fatalities was reported in the early 2000’s Pontiac went back to the drawing board, however the company stopped making the Sunfire in 2005.
4. Kia Spectra (hatchback) – 191 million
Uh oh…this is the second time a Kia is on this list. Before you place your Kia on sale and look for another car, let’s take a look at the back-story behind the fatalities with the hatchback. Based on reviews and studies on the Kia hatchback from the 2001-2004 timeframe were considered to be under powered and cheaply constructed. Which means that should the hatchback ever encounter some sort of impact, well…there may be some crunching of metal involved. Luckily since that time, Kia has refined the construction of their cars.
3. Nissan 350Z – 193 million
The Nissan 350Z is closely associated with single driver crashes, meaning there is a lot of reckless driving involved where the car hit a tree or a barrier. With 193 million fatalities, one has to ask why. Is it the aesthetic of the vehicle that attracts a certain kind of driver or inspires the driver to drive recklessly? Is it the make of the vehicle that makes it less capable of handling more aggressive driving? Of course just taking the fatality number at face value isn’t fair to the Nissan in general, but carefully looking at why the car is where it is at is exceptionally important to avoid similar fatal mistakes.
2. Acura RSX – 202 million
The Acura RSX is a smaller car, which means that the driver could be more vulnerable to life-threatening injuries. The car is a two-door car and utilizes VTEC technology, which stands for Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control. The link to the number of fatalities with the Acura RSX hasn’t been associated with speed, but just the overall make and quality of the car in general. Those who have contested these results ask the readers to look at the age and the price that the cars were bought to quickly associate the fatalities with the age and skills of the drivers.
1. Chevrolet Blazer (2 door, 2WD) – 232 million
The Chevy Blazer with two doors and two-wheel drive built from 2001-2001 has been involved with the most fatalities. The majority of the fatalities involve rollover accidents where the passengers inside were less likely to survive even if they were wearing a seat belt. The Tahoe eventually replaced the Blazer, but there are still many models out there still being driven. So in other words, be careful if you’re ever on the market for a used Chevy Blazer. Automakers attempted to contest the results by saying that driving behavior had a major impact, but at the same time, the numbers don’t lie!