Learning how to drive is like a rite of passage for overexcited teenagers who can't wait to get behind the wheel. However, despite the emphasis that the driving instructors place on safety and the numerous warning signs on the roads, vehicular accidents kill approximately 1.2 million people annually and injure another 50 million every year around the world.
Although there are many factors that can cause a road accident, the driver is more often than not the cause because, let's face it, the vehicle simply follows the driver's instructions. However, not all blame falls on the driver. Vehicles at times can fail to respond in the way a driver anticipates, making them a major participant in almost all accidents on the roads.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study on the cars that were most commonly involved in fatal car accidents and came up with a list of the safest and the riskiest cars to drive. This study was based on the number of deaths for every one million units of a particular vehicle produced, and the study period started in 2009 and ended in 2012. The study revealed that most of the vehicles involved in fatal car accidents were the cheaper cars, and the highest percentage of people who drive such cars are young male drivers.
Based on the above study, the following list consists of the car models that will most likely kill you. That is, of course, if you don't properly maintain the car and fail to drive it as safely as possible.
10 Dodge Nitro - 51 deaths per million
When you think of American Muscle, what comes to mind? For many it's Dodge. The Dodge Viper and its other companions are some of the vehicles that make most in the U.S. proud to be American because they are extremely attractive and high-quality vehicles. However, the Dodge Nitro 2WD does not rank so highly on the safety scale, despite being a very good vehicle overall. According to the research done between 2009 and 2012, out of all the accidents involving one million Dodge Nitros produced, 51 people lost their lives. This number is high enough to clinch a spot on this list, and should be a sign to all Dodge Nitro drivers to take care so that they do not end up in a fatal accident.
9 Mazda 6 - 54 deaths per million
Mazda is a world renowned automotive brand that has its roots in Japan. The Mazda Motor Corporation wants people everywhere to enjoy fulfilling lives through their vehicles, and Mazda owners around the world share in this vision. Mazda is famous for producing excellent vehicles despite being on this list. In every one million units of the Mazda 6 produced, 54 people lost their lives in road accidents. This is likely due to the sporty nature of this mid-size sedan as well as its strong sales numbers. Always be careful and drive safely because the vehicle does not have a mind of its own and in order for it to work, it depends on instructions from you.
8 Jeep Patriot - 57 deaths per million
Jeep builds some of the most unique, compact, and affordable vehicles in America. It's difficult to find any other vehicle with the off-road capabilities that the Jeeps have, making them very popular with people who love to drive to the countryside. However, despite being compact and resilient, the Jeep Patriot is not free from accidents that claim lives. In every one million units of the Jeep Patriot 2WD produced, 57 people have lost their lives in accidents. Since this study was done between 2009 and 2012, the Jeep Patriot is likely much safer today than it was a few years back. However, regardless of how safe a vehicle is, the driver's role when it comes to an accident is what matters most.
7 Mercury Grand Marquis - 57 deaths per million
Although the Mercury Grand Marquis is no longer in production, it is one of those cars that a great number of Americans love to drive. This rear-wheel drive luxury sedan was Mercury's most popular vehicle and its appearance on this list is a little unsettling. Between 2009 and 2012, out of all the accidents that the Grand Marquis was involved in, 57 people were killed. This number is for every one million units produced, meaning that in actuality there were more than just 57 people who died in an accident involving this vehicle. Many people still own a Mercury Grand Marquis and it is very important for all of them to respect the road rules and drive carefully, lest they become part of the 57.
6 Ford Focus - 70 deaths per million
Almost every individual who knows anything about cars has heard the name Henry Ford. Henry Ford was the founder of the Ford Motor Company in the United States, which is one of the biggest multinational automotive companies in the world. Ford is famous for producing excellent vehicles, and its appearance on this list is not a sign that the company is overlooking any safety aspects in its vehicle engineering. The Ford Focus is responsible for Ford's appearance here because of the number of people that have died in accidents the vehicle was involved in between 2009 and 2012. Out of every one million units of the Ford Focus produced, the accidents that they were involved in claimed 70 lives.
5 Honda Civic two-door - 76 deaths per million
Honda is a Japanese company that is not only famous for making popular cars, but also motorcycles and power equipment. Honda aims at creating products that will benefit society and enhance human mobility, a dream that they are achieving every day. However, the Honda Civic has never had great numbers with regard to safety on the roads. Why? It's the number one car for young drivers, with its relatively low cost and sporty drive contributing to a lot of accidents annually. Out of every one million units produced for the Civic two-door, 76 people died between 2009 and 2012.
4 Chevrolet Aveo - 99 deaths per million
Chevrolet is a brand of vehicles made by General Motors in the United States and is one of the most popular auto makers not only in America but in numerous parts of the world. However, Chevy has made it onto this list because of one of its models, the Chevrolet Aveo. Out of every one million units produced for the above model, the Aveo killed 99 people according to the survey that was conducted between 2009 and 2012. Being a compact vehicle that's popular among young drivers, it's no surprise that the Aveo lands on this list.
3 Hyundai Accent four-door - 120 deaths per million
Hyundai is one of the best vehicle brands that South Korea has offered the world. The company takes great pleasure in providing practical, efficient and affordable vehicles, making this brand a favorite of so many people around the world. However, the numbers aren't so great when it comes to fatal accidents. Out of every one million units of the Hyundai Accent produced, the 120 people lost their lives in accidents over the 2009-2012 period. These figures are very high and every driver out there should take extra precaution when driving their Accent.
2 Nissan Versa - 130 deaths per million
Nissan is a car brand that you will come across in every corner of the world. The vision of Nissan is to "enrich people's lives," and they want to do this by providing practical, unique, and innovative vehicles and services. As much as Nissan is well on its way to fulfilling its mission, its vehicles are still responsible for a large number of deaths on the road. For instance, out of every one million units produced, the Nissan Versa killed 130 people through the accidents that these vehicles were involved in between 2009 and 2012. However, many factors come into play whenever there is an accident, and the vehicle is not always the cause of death.
1 Kia Rio - 149 deaths per million
Kia is one of the world's leading brands in the automotive world. In 2013, Kia sold over 2.75 million vehicles globally, showing just how people love and trust this brand. Furthermore, Kia was ranked 83rd in the world's top 100 brands ranking, and 37th best global green brand. However, when it comes to safety on the roads, the Kia Rio in particular, is one car you might want to avoid. The Rio is the car that you are most likely to die in because out of one million of its registered vehicles, 149 people died in various car accidents according to the 2009-2012 study. We can only hope that the vehicle is much safer today.