Tests Show Hybrids May be Safer in Wrecks

Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 10:33am

There's another reason why you might want to consider hopping into a hybrid or all-electric vehicle. They could actually be safer in the event of a collision.

Crash tests on hybrids from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concluded they're more protective of passengers when the collision was with a comparably sized gas-powered car.

"We found that on average occupants of hybrid vehicles were about 25% less likely to be injured than those in their non-hybrid counterparts," says the IIHS's Matt Moore.

The difference is the hybrids are heavier. All those batteries add about ten percent more weight to the vehicle. Still, the institute did find hybrids more hazardous to pedestrians. When in full electric mode, hybrids are so incredibly quiet. A pedestrian can easily stray into their path.

The United States is considering requiring noisemakers to alert pedestrians, something other countries are already doing.

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