Are Convertibles Less Safe than Other Vehicles? You Might Be Surprised by the Answer
To many people, convertibles look much less safe than other vehicles. They assume that a person driving with the top down is at a much higher risk of being involved in a serious car accident than the average vehicle. However, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), this is false.
Convertibles Are Not More Likely to Be in an Accident Than a Nonconvertible – They Are Actually Less Likely to Be in an Accident
Believe it or not, crash rates and fatal driver rates are lower for convertible vehicles than nonconvertible versions of the same model. That said, the differences in fatal accidents were not statistically significant. This does not suggest that convertibles offer better protection, but it does indicate that the lack of permanent roof does not make them more dangerous.
More About the Study
For the study, they looked at rates of driver deaths and crashes that were reported to police per mile traveled for both convertibles and nonconvertible models of 1-5-year-old vehicles from 2014 – 2018. The researcher also looked at the circumstances and behaviors that were associated with fatal accidents, such as point of impact and ejection from the vehicle, as well as things like using a seat belt and driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs.
He used information from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System that is maintained by the NHTSA. They also looked at data from the National Automotive Sampling System General Estimates System to get information about police-report accidents, which is also overseen by the NHTSA.
A Closer Look at the Statistics
The report resulting from the study showed that convertibles were involved in 6% fewer police-reported accidents for every mile they drove, compared to their conventional models. Driver deaths were also more than 10% lower. That said, the chance of being ejected from the vehicle in a fatal car accident was considerably higher for convertibles than for a conventional vehicle.
In the past, research showed that conventional vehicles, stronger roofs could significantly reduce how serious or fatal an injury was if a person was ejected or involved in a rollover accident. In 2009, IIHS added a new category required to qualify as a “Top Safety Pick” – roof strength. After that, vehicles of all types generally have strong roofs.
Have You Been Involved in an Accident?
Whether your accident involved a convertible or a conventional vehicle, you can count on Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas to talk to you about your options. If someone else was at fault then they may be required to pay you for your injuries and other damages. Call us now at 909-982-0707 and we can get started with a free legal consultation.