Green Car Safety...How Safe is Your Green Car?
Since 1999, over 3 million hybrid vehicles have been sold in the United States. Of course, the main draw of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) is their fuel efficiency, which, of course, is what also makes them ‘green’. The same thing goes for electric cars, which are even ‘greener’ than HEV’s because they don’t rely on gas at all. But, even with all of the cutting edge technology that goes into the design of both HEV’s and electric cars, there have always been murmurings about whether or not the cars are safe to drive.
The good news is that they are safe to drive. Just as advancements in technology make it possible to drive cars that are powered only by electricity, advancements in safety make it possible to drive hybrid and electric vehicles that are just as safe to drive as gas-powered vehicles. Let’s take a closer look.
Just as with all other vehicle types, hybrid vehicles get mixed reviews for safety, with many of them scoring an overall five star safety rating due to ever-improving safety technology. Based on reviews from the National Highways Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), here are two of the many standouts.
● 2014 Toyota Avalon HYBRID: This vehicle received an overall five star rating. This included a five star side crash rating, (which tested the curtain airbag and the torso/pelvis airbag), and four stars in both the frontal barrier crash test (frontal airbag and knee airbag) and the rollover test. The risk of rollover was gauged at 10.7%.
● 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid 4 DR FWD: The Fusion received an overall five star rating from the NHTSA. The frontal crash test scored five stars (same bags), the side crash test received four stars (same bags), as did the rollover test. The Fusion has a 10.9% risk of rollover.
Not to be outdone by hybrid vehicles, electric cars, which have been around for over 100 years but are relatively new to the mainstream auto market, did fairly well. Here are the NHTSA’s top electric car safety picks.
● 2014 Nissan Leaf 5 HB FWD: The Nissan Leaf received an overall four star rating from the NHTSA. The car received a four star frontal crash rating, which only tested the frontal airbag. It also received four stars in both the side crash test (curtain airbag, torso/pelvis airbag) and the rollover test. The risk of rollover was measured at 10.9%.
● 2013 Smart ED 2 DR RWD: the 2014 model hasn’t yet been tested by the NHTSA, but the 2013 model fared well on all tests. Receiving an overall four star rating, the Smart ED received five stars in the side crash test (same bags), four stars in the frontal crash test (frontal air bag, knee air bag, and four stars in the rollover test. The risk of rollover was calculated to be 15.5%.
The reason most car accidents happen is because of a negligent driver, not necessarily the type of vehicle they’re driving. Fortunately, for those who have been injured as a result of a negligent driver, there is recourse available. Scott C. Gottlieb has plenty of information about New York state laws related to the varying deadlines for filing a claim against a negligent driver – local laws may vary.
Certainly not all cars are equally safe to drive, whether they’re gas, electric or hybrid. The take-home point here is that hybrid and electric vehicles are no less safe to drive than gas-powered vehicles of comparable size.