Believe it or not, hybrids are safer in a crash than their gasoline-only counterparts, according to a new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute.
“Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts,” Moore said in a statement today. “This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don’t have,” said Matt Moore, Data Institute President and author of the study.
The study didn’t include cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, which are only available as a hybrid. The study also counted other factors like who drives hybrids and how they generally behave on the road.
While the drivers and hybrids themselves may be contributing to improved safety inside the car, a separate study also conducted by Highway Loss Data Institute suggests that these cars are 20 percent more likely to hit a pedestrian.
The reason, they say, is that while running in electric-only mode they are too quiet, making them less noticeable to someone crossing the street.
Earlier this year, Congress gave the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration three years to decide on a standard for equipping hybrids and electric vehicles with a sound device to alert pedestrians.
Japan is the only country to currently enforce such a standard, according to a CNN article Moore sighted.
Despite that, it seems Nissan has already equipped their Leaf with a system to catch pedestrian attention. Toyota started including the feature on the 2010 Prius in Japan, and will add it to the 2012 North American Prius V.
[Source: Automotive News]