The obvious benefit of driving a hybrid vehicle is that they get much better gas mileage than your average car. However, a recent study by the Highway Data Loss Institute has revealed that hybrid vehicles are also significantly safer than their non-hybrid counterparts. In fact, the chances of being injured in a car accident are 25% lower in a hybrid than a conventional car of the same model.
Heavier vehicles are safer than smaller vehicles because they have more mass. We all feel safer in bigger heavier vehicles for a reason—because we know that if we get in an accident the bigger car is probably going to receive less damage, hence the driver of the bigger car is likely to suffer fewer injuries. The fact of the matter is that heavier vehicles are more likely to move, bend, or deform the smaller cars they hit, which is why heavier hybrid vehicles are safer.
Hybrid vehicles are much heavier than conventional cars because they have two engines—an electric engine and a conventional gas engine. This added weight not only comes from the additional electric engine, but also from the batteries that are needed to power the electric engine. So, even though hybrid cars get better gas mileage than conventional cars they are actually much heavier and therefore, much safer. For example, a hybrid Honda Accord weighs approximately 500 pounds more than a conventional Honda Accord and a hybrid Toyota Highlander weighs approximately 400 pounds more than a conventional Toyota Highlander. This 10% increase in weight is what makes hybrid vehicles 25% safer than conventional cars.
The fact that hybrids are 25% safer than their conventional counterparts is exciting for us, as consumers, because we no longer need to choose between the safety of a larger, heavier vehicle and the fuel efficiency of a smaller, lighter vehicle. As gas prices continue to rise, hybrids can provide us with the best of both worlds by combining the safety and fuel efficiency that we demand.