Pickup trucks and SUVs scored better than average in vehicle fatality figures, according to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report released May 22. The overall rate for all passenger vehicles throughout Pennsylvania and the U.S. was 30 driver deaths per million registrations.
The study covered vehicles produced in model years 2011 to 2014. Overall, pickup trucks performed better than average, with a rate of 26 traffic deaths out of a million registered vehicles. SUVs outperformed further, with a rating of 21, while minivans had the best rating of 19. Regular passenger cars carried the highest fatality score, with a rate of 39 deaths per million registered vehicles.
Seven of the 11 vehicles that showed no driver fatalities in the study's findings were light trucks, and Toyota pickups were particularly successful in achieving top scores. Some vehicles scored much worse than others, with several large pickups reporting fatality rates that significantly exceeded the average. However, researchers noted that not all vehicles had a large enough sample size.
The study only looked at driver deaths, rather than fatalities to pedestrians, passengers or others. Overall auto accident deaths plummeted after the recession of 2008 as long road travel and vacation trips slowed down. There has been a slight rise in national rates since that time. In 2015, there were more than 35,000 traffic deaths. Figures routinely exceeded 40,000 prior to 2007.
Traffic deaths can be caused by a multitude of factors. One of the most significant factors is driver negligence. Careless driving can take lives on the road and leave victims and their families with significant losses, medical expenses, and emotional pain and suffering. An attorney can assist families and loved ones of people whose lives were taken in fatal traffic accidents.