Special Report

Most Unsafe Cars on the Road

Thanks to improvements in both vehicle and highway safety standards, driving deaths in the United States remain close to their lowest point in decades. According to a new report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in October, 36,560 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2018, which is about 10,000 fewer than 30 years prior, despite there being far more vehicles on the road. 

Vehicles sold today are, on the whole, relatively safe, thanks in part to increasingly strict federal regulations as well as technological improvements such as collision avoidance, anti-lock brakes, smart airbags, and adaptive headlights. Here is some next-generation technology that could soon be in every car

Still, there have been a few rare cars sold in the United States in the last decade that have received subpar scores on major safety tests. 

The NHTSA, a federal agency, rates thousands of sedans, wagons, pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans with scores of 1 to 5 stars for their frontal crash, side crash, and rollover safety. The NHTSA also assigns a 1 to 5 star rating to each model for its overall safety rating. Each of the vehicles rated for the 2019 or 2020 model years has a 4 or 5-star overall review. In previous model years, however, a number of vehicles received 2 or 3 stars. 

24/7 Wall St. listed all 35 examples of models the NHTSA gave an overall safety rating of two or three stars from 2011 or later model years. 2011 was the first year the NHTSA began issuing a more rigorous set of tests and safety standards. In some cases, different versions of a particular model received different scores. In those cases, we listed the lowest-rated model. These cars are grouped by model year but are otherwise in no specific order. The cars pictured represent the model and model year but not necessarily the precise model variation with the lowest NHTSA rating. 

These cars are relatively unsafe compared to other modern vehicles with across the board 5-star safety ratings. Compared to vehicles from even earlier decades, however, when safety standards were not nearly as rigorous, the cars on this list are much safer. Click here to see the deadliest cars in history.

Click here to see the most unsafe cars

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