Automobiles have revolutionized the world, allowing people to travel with unmatched ease. Unfortunately, the speed and size of cars can make them dangerous — more than 37,000 Americans lost their lives in car crashes in 2017. Often, operators are at fault, as people drive while sleepy, under the influence, or without paying enough attention. Other times, however, vehicles are to blame.
Automakers sometimes miss or even deliberately ignore the safety issues of a new or existing car. These flaws can cause drivers to lose control of their cars or turn minor fender benders into deadly infernos.
The cars of today are much safer than they were decades ago, as evidenced by declining fatality rates. Many vehicles from years past would not meet today’s safety standards. Some were top-heavy and prone to rollovers. Others had design flaws — some cars could accelerate or change gears on their own while others had gas tanks that could be easily punctured, leading to fuel spills and deadly fires.
Today, vehicles with high fatality rates do not tend to have obvious design flaws, but some cars are just too small to adequately protect drivers and passengers in the event of a crash.
To determine the deadliest cars in history, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed historical auto recalls and famously dangerous vehicles, as well as data from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Producing a flawed car can have major ramifications for automakers. Many corporations have been caught knowingly producing cars that are dangerous, leading to major public relations issues and making them one of America’s most hated companies.
Insurance companies are well aware of which cars are the least safe. Many of the deadliest cars cost well over $1,000 to insure annually — much higher than the average car. These are the most expensive cars to insure.