Study Says Hybrids are Safer in a Crash

We’re pretty sure that this will be reinterpreted in some strange way that will end with the Mithbusters having to deal with it, but here we go!
A recent study conducted by a IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) associated organization has shown that hybrid vehicles are on average 25 percent safer for their passengers than their more conventional counterparts.

This has nothing to do with electric gremlins that save your life and everything to do with physics. Hybrid drivetrains add 10 percent to the weight of the car. The weight means the heavier hybrid will have extra momentum in a crash. The lighter car is pushed back in a head-on collision and this causes extra damage to their occupants.

Don’t take this study word for word, as it’s been proven that a smart fortwo can be safer than an old SUV that’s not built without that many passive safety devices.

"Weight is a big factor,"
says Matt Moore, HLDI vice president and an author of the report. "Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts. This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don't have."

But, the bad news is that hybrids driving in electric-only mode is dangerous to pedestrians, as they won’t hear them coming. “When hybrids operate in electric-only mode, pedestrians can’t hear them approaching, so they might step out into the roadway without checking first to see what’s coming,” said Moore.

We'll repeat this to make sure you heard us: having an electric motor driving your car doesn't really make it safer... it makes it heavier really!

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories