As a father of two young kids, I've done hours of research understanding the safest cars and SUVs to survive a crash. Nothing is more precious than my children and my spouse.
You can be the safest driver on the road and still get into an an accident. As a result, there is no shame in getting a large, safer vehicle to protect you and your family.
Did you know that despite all the technological advancements in car safety, the car accident death rate had the highest rate of increase in 50 years in 2018 and 2019?
Lower gas prices (until 2022) and a better economy are two reasons cited for more driving and more dying on the road. But, the other culprit is distracted driving due to our damn mobile phones. We're texting, searching for new Pandora stations, and surfing the web while driving more than ever before.
Right before the pandemic began, within three months, I witnessed four accidents and experienced three close calls. One accident was strange because two cars stopped at a four-way intersection with stop signs. But the Audi Q5 SUV then proceeded to plow into the Toyota Prius' front passenger door!
I was rolling up to the intersection when the accident happened. The woman driving the Audi wasn't aware of the Prius to her left because she was either in a hurry or looking at her phone.
Even though traffic and accidents are way down during the pandemic, I still had two close calls. The first was when a truck blasted through a stop sign when I had gone forward after waiting my turn. The other was a driver swerving into my right lane. I suspect both were distracted by their cell phones!
Crash Statistics To Understand The Safest Cars
Take a look at the following crash statistics in America and the world according to the Association For Safe International Road Travel for 2022.
Annual United States Road Crash Statistics
- Over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year
- An additional 2.35 million are injured or disabled
- Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
- Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20
- Road crashes cost the U.S. $230.6 billion per year or an average of $820 per person
- Road crashes are the single greatest annual cause of death of healthy U.S. citizens traveling abroad
Annual Global Road Crash Statistics
- Nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
- An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.
- More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.
- Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
- Road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people ages 15-29, and the second leading cause of death worldwide amongst young people ages 5-14.
- Each year nearly 400,000 people under 25 die on the world's roads, on average over 1,000 a day.
- Over 90% of all road fatalities occur in low and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world's vehicles.
- Road crashes cost USD $518 billion globally, costing individual countries 1-2% of their annual GDP.
- Road crashes cost low and middle-income countries USD $65 billion annually, exceeding the total amount received in developmental assistance.
- Unless action is taken, road traffic injuries are predicted to become the fifth leading cause of death by 2030.
I love cars, but I love my life even more. The two easiest things a driver can do are: 1) slow down, and 2) stop looking at or talking on your mobile phone. If you're a parent, I'd also consider not allowing your teenager to drive or get into a car with another teenage driver.
For those of you who also value the importance of safety, especially if you have a baby or kids, I wrote this post for you. Let's look at the safest cars and SUVs and why we should spend up for them.
Car Safety Logic: Bigger, Thicker, Safer
If you were to put these two precious guys:
I firmly believe they'd have a higher chance of surviving a car accident than if they got hit in this:
Unfortunately, none of us are allowed to legally drive a tank around town. Therefore, we most look for the largest vehicle possible that's also practical to safeguard our loved ones!
The best time to own the nicest car you can afford is when you have kids. Your duty as a parent is to protect your children from reckless drivers and you. After the kids are out of the house should you save money on a car or buy your race car.
Safety According To The Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS)
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is the authority in vehicle safety in America. Here's what they have to say about what to look for in a car for safety.
Look for good ratings in frontal crash tests. Most newer models earn top marks for frontal crashworthiness in the federal government's 35 mph test head-on into a rigid barrier and the IIHS 40 mph moderate overlap test into a deformable barrier.
Many but not all late-model vehicles earn acceptable or good ratings from IIHS for protection in a small overlap front crash.
Choose a vehicle with good side ratings plus side airbags that protect your head. IIHS and NHTSA rate models based on tests that simulate front-into-side crashes. The tests represent different side-impact dangers.
Drivers of vehicles with good ratings in the IIHS side-barrier test are 70 percent less likely to die in a driver-side crash compared with drivers in poorly rated vehicles. The majority of 2008 and newer models have side airbags as standard equipment.
Look for a strong roof. IIHS rates roof strength to help consumers pick vehicles with roofs that will hold up in a rollover crash. Strong roofs reduce the risk of fatal or incapacitating injury in a rollover. Ratings began with 2008-09 models.
Pick a model with a good seat/head restraint rating to reduce whiplash injuries in a rear-end collision. Vehicles with seat/head restraint combinations rated good by IIHS have 15 percent fewer insurance claims for neck injuries than vehicles with poor ratings.
You can help increase protection by adjusting the head restraint to correctly fit your head.
Electronic stability control
Buy a vehicle with ESC. It's standard on 2012 and newer models and available on many earlier ones. An extension of antilock brake technology, ESC engages automatically to help drivers maintain control on curves and slippery roads.
ESC lowers the risk of a fatal single-vehicle crash by about half and the risk of a fatal rollover by as much as 80 percent.
The safest cars typically weigh between 3,500 lbs. and 4,500 lbs, the range in which a vehicle remains safe in collisions with larger vehicles such as full-size SUVs while limiting additional threats to drivers of smaller, lighter vehicles such as compact cars.
Smaller, lighter vehicles generally offer less protection than larger, heavier ones. People in lighter vehicles also experience higher crash forces when struck by heavier vehicles.
Check the NHTSA site for recalls before buying, and make sure repairs are made.
I wanted to highlight what the IIHS said just in case you don't believe in my simple picture logic above. I'm sure there are some of you who object to bigger vehicles because you want to save the planet.
But if you really wanted to save the planet, you wouldn't drive a vehicle at all! You'd only walk, barefoot. You'd also go into a save the planet occupation and live naked in the woods to reduce your carbon footprint.
This article is about saving a passenger's life in an auto accident.
The Safest Cars To Buy And SUVs To Buy
Under the overarching premise that bigger is safer, let's go through some various top-ranked vehicles for safety according to various publications.
IIHS – Top 5 Safest Cars For Under $30,000
Toyota Avalon Sedan
Toyota RAV4 Mini-SUV
Nissan Maxima Sedan
Volkswagen Passat Sedan
Autobytel – Safest Vehicles For Under $40,000
Honda Odyssey Minivan
Hyundai Genesis Sedan
Toyota Highlander SUV
Volvo S60 Sedan
The Car Crash Detective – The Top Safest Cars By Side Impact
Some cars provide a satisfying *thunk* when you close their doors. Other cars, not so much. The thunk sound is what you need to hear when buying a safe car because side impacts are the most likely to be fatal. The simple logic is that there's less material between you and the car that t-bones you compared to front and rear impact collisions.
The Crash Detective writes, “That’s what this list is based on. Every cm between you and a life-ending amount of energy is a life-preserving cm of survival space. Let’s see who’s doing the best job at it right now. For brevity’s sake, I’ll list the top 10 cars I could find.”
24 cm – 2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan (e.g., E 350).
22 cm – 2015 Subaru Outback.
22 cm – 2015, 2016 Volkswagen Golf / GTI.
21 cm – 2014, 2015 Fiat 500L.
20.5 cm – 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan (e.g., C 400).
19.5 cm – 2010-2015 Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupe.
19.5 cm – 2015 Subaru Legacy.
19 cm –
2011-2015 BMW 5 Series (e.g., 528i).
2012-2016 Audi A6.
2015 Acura TLX.19 cm – 2013-2015 Dodge Dart.
US News & World Report – Best Luxury Midsize SUVs 2022
Tesla Model X
Porsche Cayenne Hybrid
Lexus RX 350
Lexus RX Hybrid
Range Rover Sport
Volvo XC 90
IIHS – Top Safety Picks For All Vehicle Types 2022
It's Worth Driving The Safest Car Or SUV Possible
You may be the safest driver in the world, but that won't stop a distracted idiot from t-boning you to the hospital.
Slow down, stay alert, and wait to respond to a text message until after you've arrived at your destination.
After extensive online and offline research, I've decided to buy a Range Rover Sport. It's a safe SUV that is also fully tax-deductible for my business since it's over 6,000 pounds.
I love driving my Range Rover Sport. It looks good and is really fun to drive. Most importantly, it's a safe SUV when driving my family around.
Related: The 1/10th Rule Of Car Buying You Must Follow
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160 thoughts on “The Safest Cars And SUVs To Survive A Crash”
Another way to look at the death statistics is to note that more than twice as many Americans have died in road accidents in the last 125 years as have died in wars in the last 250. We all have family members who have killed on the road. And don’t overlook all the motorcyclists who have died/been injured by inattentive/distracted drivers making left hand turns. Automobiles are the second worst invention of the twentieth century.
Mea culpa, meant to write “…have been killed….”
My 2006 Prius with 688,000 miles just took one for the team on oct 21 2022. Head on collision with a semi at 65 mph. I was in the Prius. My passenger walked away with no injuries. I only have minimal injuries. I have a hairline fracture in my hip socket and a broken pinky toe and a bunch of torn muscles. I should not have walked away from that accident. Neither should my passenger have. I am a firm believer in the Toyota safety system. Everybody made jokes about my car being a tiny little tin can. If I would’ve been in any other one of my vehicles, I wouldn’t have walked away, so far as I’m concerned that second generation Prius is a win.
Glad you’re OK! I think you would have been OK in a larger vehicle as well!
Related: The Best Time To Own The Nicest Car You Can Afford
I’m not sure why your article calls the Rav4 a “mini” SUV. It’s not even a compact SUV. It’s an SUV.
Saw a Subaru Forester get clipped on the freeway both cars flipped into the air and rolled over multiple times right in front of me. It looked like something from a James Bond movie. When I ran up to the Subaru Forester to help I thought i was going to see a nightmare but turns out the Subaru Forester had deployed every single airbag up its sleeves because I couldn’t even find the driver. She eventually wiggled her way out of the cloud of airbags and didnt have a single scratch on her! I went home and first thing I did was buy a Dash camera online. True Story. The car that hit her had 2 teens a brother and sister that were physically fighting and the brother grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it while the sister was driving. hella stupid.
We owned a 2007 Volvo XC90 and were involved in a rollover going about 45 mph. On a dirt road, no sign saying turn was upcoming (although there was one going the opposite way, go figure). Anyway, we had our 4 kids in the car (8, 6, 3, and 1 yr old), with one sitting in the 3rd row seat. No injuries, side tires had popped as it went from hard dirt to soft almost like sand (ditch). We only rolled once and landed on our top. Again, no injuries, kids were scared, crying and weren’t very happy, but we all survived. I loved our Volvo and will be buying another. Safety vice luxury are my #1.
Hi , 9-1-20 I was rear ended by a Honda pilot 2007 , I had a 2015 vw tiguan, i was on the interstate at a slowdown going about 65 , the person hit me at 85ish , my back windshield bust out , the back of my car crumbled up and i am now unable to open the pull up trunk. I am bruised , sore but alive. I normally would of had my 16 year old daughter in passenger seat and 14 year old daughter in back seat behind passenger, but luckily i was alone that day… I do know my car saved my life but what if my two daughters were in there I need a car that can sustain all sides of impact , im so nervous to buy the WRONG CAR/SUV/TRUCK now ….please help me in choosing a car that will keep my precious family safe from any angle at a high rate of speed impact. Im in los angeles and ALWAYS on the freeway, im a VERY GOOD DRIVER, but of course los angeles has many many impatient people. Please help me.
Get a full size General Motors or Ford SUV like a Suburban or Expedition Max. They will cost a fair amount in fuel but consider that an insurance policy premium that gives you your life, not money to your beneficiaries.
My God people with the white bees, black bees, honey bees, lesbees and everything, everyone else in betweenbees way back today to 150 years ago and or more on, we’re supposed to talk about to our babies are grandbabies and everybody else, were supposed to take care of, in & our future and forward not just ourselves. Get with it we all have to take care of each other love everyone and take care of each other and that includes our cars so make our car safe …..you know.. Ford, Chevy, Subaru, Audi all the automakers come on.. let’s take care of our future not yourselves. You know it comes from us…US people. All of us people don’t matter what color we are everyone in this world. You our supposed to take care of us and care FOR everyone in OUR world. So who is supposed to BE our #1safety Auto manufacturer? Was Ford. Was it Chevy? Was it GMC, was it supposed to be Subaru???? come on who was supposed to take care of us. Aren’t we the ones who are supposed to be taken care, who cares if we are black, brown, white, abalone, Cherokee or any other Indian nation you can name. We are supposed to be take care and help each other that’s what always the Ford and Chevy always did so that’s why my daddy always bought a Ford. That’s why I still have a Ford sitting in my driveway l’m 65. My son has a Chevy it needs some work but he still has it he’s 40. Hay like this a Ford and Chevy USA going tough. So help with all of our friends an families keep USA GOING STRONG!!!!!!
Hi, this article helps a lot since a lot of drivers got into more accidents lately. I’d like to know your insight, some roads have horrible hazards such as too many potholes, debris, no safe areas to pull over to the side of the road, can’t see around or over curves, hills, & parked cars, so what car model is best that would overcome the potholes smoothly and with no problem? Thanks!
This week I rear ended a Tesla X with my Audi A4. The X was like hitting a block wall, and it sustained very little damage. In fact it barely moved. Meanwhile my beautiful A4 was totalled as the whole front end was demolished. The radiator was pushed back about a foot into the engine compartment. Will never forget my hood crumpling like an accordian in front of me. Good thing is that no one was hurt.
That’s what a safe car is supposed to. It’s called a crumple zone and it takes the transfer of forces away from the occupants. A car that does not crumple is LESS safe, and, as such, the transfer of forces is more likely to kill you.
This has nothing to do with how strong or safe your car is. It has everything to do with the fact that in a rear-ending accident the hitter dives under the car in front of him/ her. As a result the damage to the car in front is minimal (mostly below the bumper) while the damage on the hitter is extensive and expensive.
Wrong. Please do your research before arrogantly replying with misinformation.
For example, how is a SUV going to “dive” under a sedan?
Google is your friend. Start by typing in “crumple zones”. A front end is going to crumple more than a rear end because A) The front end has more crumple zones, and B) rear ended vehicles are typically not moving towards the collision at the moment of impact. So, there is less force being transferred than compared to something like a head on collision between two moving vehicles.
Partcrash is right, you are wrong… speaking of ignorant… I am a LT for the local FD (#24) here in Orlando. I can guarantee you I have seen hundreds of cases that Partcrash is speaking of. Please figure out the FACTS before YOU speak, Adam
Jim T asks for your opinion and advice.
Got rear ended by a teen driver yesterday while stopped in traffic on a local roadway. My wife and I in our 2014 Ford Expedition. She was driving an off road Jeep and was probably on her cell texting since she never braked;no skid marks. Her Jeep sustained some damage to the front lower carriage but nothing else. Our Exp was totally destroyed from the rear to the second row seats; the impact pushed our Exp into a small suv in front of us; it sustained minimal damage. Our front end / hood etc., folded but not the passenger compartment
So what vehicle do any of you recommend that would sustain a straight on rear end collision? If I would have had passengers in the second row seats, they might not be with us today. So put aside all of your guessing and give me an educated and researched answer. Thanks.
You r so wrong. I have the pics to show you.
My 2007 GMC Yukon 4WD SLT2 was hit in the back passenger tire at 70MPH by a 1989 Ford F-150. My 5yr old daughter was in the 3d row seat on that side That took the direct impact. Myself in the front and my 10yr old and 3 month old in the 2nd row. The truck looked like a bomb exploded on it there was no front end to the driver windshield. He was unharmed. My Yukon had the tire and entire rear end and axle knocked out from under it and the back end was on the ground. Barely any Visiual damage to the body at all. The impact went UNDER the vehicle when he hit me in the tire area. My child in the impact zone only suffered facial abrasions from her cheek smacking the side of the wheel weld area of the interior. The kids were screaming and terrified but thank god No one was injured. The state trooper said ANY other vehicle in that impact my daughter would have been dead.
No. The Trooper was just comforting you. I’m very sorry you were in an accident, but Yukon’s are far from the safest SUV. The Model X for example would protect occupants for better from any angle of impact. The German, Sweeds, and Japanese build safer Vehicles in general.
Coming from a Toyota owner, any of those smaller vehicles you are referring to would not have stood up to a Ford F150 at 70mph. In a multi-vehicle crash, mass matters, and platform matters, the 2007 Yukon is body-on-frame, and a F150 would have most likely destroyed the rear of those unibody vehicles. As the post author stated, the impact was to the wheel which meant the forces were directed at the frame. In a solo crash when you can account for just the vehicle safety cages and unibody design, you can propose such an argument even though is still a loose argument, but not this scenario.
Our beautiful clean-as-a-whistle 2007 Honda Odyssey just saved our family’s lives!
Rearended at a red light by a 2 ton Ram driven by a grossly negligent adult male.
Our minivan was totaled, it fell apart, as it was built to do, and kept those in the back safe.
That van could be parked on a dime and leave a nickel for change! 6’+ husband easily fit. Kids, camping equipment, snow, bikes, cross-country trips, city driving (with fantastic 6 gear transmission aka downshifting)…it did it all! We even moved an in-law’s piano in it. It couldn’t be beat.
Remember, as kids get older you’ll also be transporting their friends, aka other parents’ precious cargo, so a minivan is ideal. Don’t forget all the baby equipment, later kid’s sports equipment, too!
This comment may be late, but better late than never.
I am ready to buy a tank to keep my family safe after that ‘pick-up’ hit. BTW, we were left standing next to our totaled van while the idiot drove away with a bent front bumper.
YEP, GONNA BUY ME A TANK!!!!! It won’t be pretty, or have luxury features the other moms have, but my husband and children are my precious, irreplaceable, cargo and I have now been turned into a mama bear.
Forget the ridiculous walk, bike, ride recommendations. That is NOT REAL life for most families. Not everyone has the option to live in an urban location.
Yes, we all wish for the ‘ideal’ but as long as driving, at all, anywhere, is a necessity, well, I’m on my way to buy a tank, or, at least, another Honda Odyssey.
So, Financial Samurai, what did you buy?
Wishing you and your young family the safest of travels, and the most wonderful of on-the-road memories! :)
Phew! Glad y’all are safe!
Tank it is!
I ended up buying a Range Rover Sport SUV. Love it. Perfect for our family of 3, or maybe 4!
Will consider minivan at 2 kids :)
Glad to hear you’re safe. My 2014 Honda civic was just rear ended while stopped at an intersection. The driver was on his phone doing around 50mph… I walked away with not a scratch and the Toyota was destroyed. Lucky , sure..but the Honda took it like a champ.. absolutely getting another Honda.
How much damage was done to your car?
I own a 2015 Civic and I love it, however I always have my 2 year old son in the backseat.
On Thanksgiving, I was driving a Jeep Cherokee and was rear ended by a drunk driver. My toddler and I were fine, but I am now Terrified to drive my civic.
The answer to all your questions is so simple a 2 year old could tell you. Look at it the way an educated person would and study the car safety/industry from its inception and see what safety meant to all the big makers. Through your research you will find what I’ve always known VOLVO makes the safest cars in the world period end of story because safety is volvos story. I won’t bore u moms with words like boron steel and inventors of that thing called a seatbelt or sips
Just drive a Volvo Volvo for life. Now I guess I’ll wait for some idiot to tell me how wrong I’m for those of you who think a Subaru is a good car in a crash I say u have never crashed one visit your local body shop where one is totaled feel the cheap steel rip apart doors etc. Mechanics hate fixing anything inside a Volvo door cause they have to work around boron steel rods awful I no. I will add this from my body shop years BMW can take a head on crash maybe better than any car roofs suck in rollovers side impact second to volvo have not seen thinner sheet metal than on those jeeps absolute junk. One guy was right on here saying u r looking at iihs numbers etc etc. All wrong stats of this and that aren’t going to save your life so quit looking at all that crap technically they say the Chevy 1500 extended cab is the worst car in the world to be in a crash does this make any sense? It’s because the amount of them on the road and an active/work type lifestyle of such owners this vehicle sees a lot of crashes not the truck being unsafe but will note my volvo only weighs 400 pds. Less than that truck.
Sorry, so what’s your conclusion? Only buy Volvos?
As a mechanic. I have to say how bad volvos are. I owned a c70 convertible one of their premium vehicles. Piece of junk. Had a windshield visor that constantly broke. At $270 replacment cost. The 5 cylinder engine is rough. And the rubber disenigrated from shock tower bushings to radio knobs that ended up like bubble gum. And as a mechanic the Volvo uses proprietary computer code only accessible from Volvo. So at times I had to use the local dealership in Clearwater; which in my experience could be compared to dealing with organized crime. Look on Ebay, people cant even give away Volvo’s. You can get the C70 convertible for under $1000. Cheapest convertible you can buy until you need to get it fixed. They are not the Volvo of the 1970s that lasted forever. And the Xc70 might be very safe as they never get out of the driveway. Stick with Toyota, or Hyundai…. Hyundai is really bringing their game. My wife has the sonata which they styled after Jaguar. Awesome car. Cant wait to test out a Genesis. BTW. Would you trust a Volvo for safety if you can not even depend on it running. AND remember they had a Ad years ago touting their safety, and were caught lying using a car that had been reinforced.
I hope Volvo gets it together but until then I would hate to see someone get burned like I did. If your going to dump tons of money into a car at least go with style and performance… Get a jag or mercedes the volvo will be more expensive. Jeff
Sam, I think you should get a Toyota or a Subaru product. It would just make great common sense. You will save money and keep your family safe! A Hybrid may be the way to go to save on fuel also. Good Luck with your decision!!
Sounds great. Which models exactly? Are these the cars that you drive? How do we allow for a variety of tastes for other people?
I’m in the hospital now because of a distracted teenage driver. I was in an a Lexus ES 350 2016. The driver was in a large infinity SUV. I was rear ended and I have a concussion and brain injury, neck and back injuries. My car was smashed and that SUV barely had a crack in the bumper. I’m afraid to get another Lexus sedan or any car again. When I was hit in the rear, ithe force pushed my car forward to hit the car in front of me, but my automatic braking stopped me from hitting that car. Every vehicle needs automatic braking. It should be the law.
I don’t know if I will recover and work again. One accident changed my life. When I get another vehicle, it will be an SUV.
I wish you the best of recovery Kim. I’m so sorry this has happened to you! Teenage drivers need extra supervision and training. I’m one for raising the driving limit, especially since we have Uber and Lyft now.
I bet raising the driving limit by just two years would save more lives and result in fewer accidents.
Get well soon!
I totally agree about raising the driving age. I have a nearly 15 year old and I want my next car, which she may be driving to be a tank suv. I’m currently in a 2017 Tiguan but the lease is up and I’m not happy supporting those VW cheaters!! Anyway… I appreciate your piece here especially the side impact info as it pertains to the thickness. I was all Volvo and now I’m not sure.
Because your Lexus crunched up you survived being hit. You dont want a 1960’s partybarge as they are solid and wont absorb the crash energy. I once saw a guy in a big old car get in a headon collision. The car suffered little damage, but the driver was dead. I know seeing a car all crunched up seems like it is weak, but look where you were sitting, that was strong and protected. You Lexus is a great car. That you got smashed into and survived is a testament to great engineering. Stay with newer big cars with lots of airbags and you have got a chance. Or you could get a Kenworth or Peterbilt that might calm the nerves. Just a little hard to find parking.
I was wondering about the safety of my H2 Hummer. It’s a 2006. Could you tell me anything about it? The previous owner had put wide tires and a lift on it, if that makes a difference.
I learned an expensive fact about the windscreen of a Hummer from a co-worker. Because it’s almost vertical, it doesn’t deflect stones. A stone punched a hole into his windscreen.
A Honda Odyssey, or Volvo XC60 or XC90…the Volvo XC90 being my #1 pick. The XC90 will be my next car, after driving an XC60 for past five years, which I’ve absolutely loved. I’m only upgrading to the 90 primarily for additional safety.
Great article. There is one major point to consider when it comes to car safety. On my site I posted an essay about buying a safe car, plus a lengthy Youtube video about the same topic. The main thing to look for that is often overlooked in a car purchase is the fatality rate. Only a few cars have zero fatality rates, meaning that in certain model years no one got killed in that particular vehicle. We have two Lexus RX 350 crossover vehicles and they are on the list of zero fatality. A great ride, and obviously a very safe cars. There is also a myth that large cars are automatically safe. This is simply not true, since it depends on how well the vehicle absorbs impact energy and number and location of airbags. Good luck in your car buying (I LOVE high tech cars!).
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