1977-02-01

The Relationship Between Occupant Safety and the Proportion of Small Cars on the Road 770807

In the past there has been much data presented indicating a shift toward increasing the small car population would adversely affect occupants. Obviously in an unequal two-vehicle collision, the small car is at a disadvantage. In the available data presented relative to two-vehicle collisions only, however, the unadjusted fatality rates show that a small car is much safer than a large car.
Although this result is obtained because of the preponderance of young people in small cars, ever after adjusting the results to account for expected age distribution of the driving population the small-small collision is slightly less severe than the large-large collision. Small cars, in this study, are cars weighing less than 3500 lb.
This analysis shows optimism for the future, and it appears that occupants are at an advantage if involved in two-vehicle collisions while in small cars.

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