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Why do some victims of Miami car accidents escape without a scratch while others suffer lifelong catastrophic injuries? A number of factors determine the severity of an injury to a person in an automotive accident, ranging from the occupant’s age, to the impact speed, to the size and the weight of each vehicle involved.
Last week I received the call no husband ever wants to receive. My wife Dina was in a collision involving three cars at an intersection just a mile from our Miami home. Fortunately, she was not hurt. Much of the reason she escaped without a scratch was pure luck because there was serious damage to all three cars.
I believe that one of the most significant factors that enhanced her safety was the size and weight of her vehicle compared to the other two cars. Dina was driving a late model Volvo SUV, and that vehicle’s mass probably prevented her injury and saved her life.
In other words, if all things are equal, a bigger, heavier, newer vehicle will better protect the occupants than a lighter, smaller car will. That is because the size and weight of the car or truck affects the magnitude of force, which is directly related to the risk of injury for people inside the vehicle.
Front-end impacts account for nearly half of all fatal car accidents. Therefore, the longer the distance from the vehicle’s front bumper to its occupant compartment, the better, especially in front-end crashes, because the farther an impact force travels, the more it dissipates.
In my wife’s accident, the other two vehicles were both much lighter than her SUV. As a result, her bigger SUV pushed the lighter cars backwards at impact, placing more force on those occupants than on her. Imagine a large defensive lineman pushing past a lighter and smaller center to sack a quarterback.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has repeatedly proved that micro and mini cars perform poorly in collisions relative to midsize or larger cars. In 2013, they found that very large cars (1-3 years old) had recorded 27 fatalities per million vehicles registered, compared to minicars, which had 66.
Statistically, midsize or larger vehicles are simply safer, and we recommend that our clients avoid purchasing or driving small or mini-cars. In addition, each model year brings improvements in safety and technology designed to save lives, such as the following features:
- Electronic Stability Control
- Lane-Departure Warnings
- Rear-End Back-Up Cameras
- Forward-Collision Warnings
You wanted to get a new car this year. I urge you to consider purchasing or leasing one if your current car or truck does not have these newly developed safety devices. If your spouse, partner or parent does not agree, print out this blog and tell them your lawyer instructed you to get a newer, bigger, and safer ride.
We are passionate about protecting the legal rights of people who have been involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian accident in Florida. Our Miami personal injury law firm has proudly represented injured people and their families for nearly 25 years across the State of Florida by succeeding at getting them compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We will provide a free initial consultation. Please email us or call today at 1-866-597-4529.