Hybrids are safer than conventional cars, study says

Article by Christian A., on November 20, 2011

The Highway Loss Data Institute discovered that on the average, drivers of hybrid vehicles are 25 percent less likely to be injured in a collision compared to drivers of conventional automobiles. This is the first study of its kind ever conducted. The data institute's vice president and author of the study, Matt Moore, discussed that weight was a huge factor in its analysis, adding that hybrids are generally 10 percent heavier than the regulars. He further mentioned that this extra mass provides the hybrids an advantage in crashes.

The data institute is an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. At least 25 hybrid-conventional automobile pairs encompassing the 2003-2011 model years were subjects in the analysis. Excluded in the study were vehicles that are sold only as hybrids or EVs such as the Honda Insight, Toyota Prius, Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf.

The agency further revealed that other factors may have also contributed to the analysis results. Despite the news, manufacturers of hybrid can still expect to have one issue to struggle with -- their silence. In another study by the same institute, hybrids may be 20 percent more likely -- compared to conventional counterparts -- to be involved in pedestrian crashes leading to human injuries. This is because pedestrians will not be able to hear a hybrid approaching if it runs on electric-only mode, Moore explained. [source: CBSNews]

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