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What do the deadliest cars have in common?

When you walk onto a car lot to buy a new vehicle, the salespeople typically do not talk about the risks you face in each specific make and model. Most of the new cars you can choose from probably have advanced safety features and good crash test ratings.

It's not that you shouldn't trust those ratings, but it is important to note that statistics make it clear that some vehicles get involved in deadly accidents more often than others. According to one study, the five cars that were most often tied to fatal accidents were the following:

  1. Kia Rio: 149 driver fatalities for every 1 million vehicles

Nissan Versa: 130 driver fatalities for every 1 million vehicles

  • Four-door Hyundai Accent: 120 driver fatalities for every 1 million vehicles

  • Chevrolet Aveo: 99 driver fatalities for every 1 million vehicles

  • Two-door Hyundai Accent: 86 driver fatalities for every 1 million vehicles

  • What do all of these cars have in common? They are all compact vehicles. They are small, relatively inexpensive, and they get good gas mileage ratings -- but that small size does come with an increased level of risk. When involved in accidents, these cars are almost always colliding with larger vehicles. That puts the people in the compact cars in more danger.

    Of course, many other factors could play a role. For instance, these cars are often chosen by teens and college students since they're relatively inexpensive and students do not need "family" cars. Could the high fatality rates also reflect how many young people drive compact cars?

    Regardless of the specific reasons, if you lose a loved one in an accident, be sure you know exactly what legal options you have.

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