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Big car, big damage in crashes

By Tara Baukus Mello · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Posted: 10 am ET

While you may take comfort in driving a larger vehicle with the knowledge that larger cars are safer in car crashes than smaller ones, many large cars are the ones that cause the most damage to other cars in an accident, according to a recently released study of 2009-2011 model-year vehicles by the Highway Data Loss Institute.

There were two pickups, three sport utility vehicles and one sedan within the top five vehicles that cause the highest property damage liability -- defined as damages inflicted on other people's vehicles and property. The institute's study results were adjusted to factor out all nonvehicle-related issues associated with the claims, including the driver's age, gender and marital status.

The top five vehicles causing the highest property damage liability from most to least are the Dodge Ram 2500 mega 4WD pickup, Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid 4WD SUV, Toyota Tundra double 4WD (long wheelbase) pickup, Mitsubishi Lancer sedan, and, tied for fifth, the GMC Yukon XL 1500 4WD SUV and Land Rover LR2 4WD SUV.

Property damage liability is just one of many factors used in calculating car insurance rates.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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18 Comments
Richard Kammerman
October 02, 2012 at 6:04 pm

The gist of your article is that we should have a small car since the cost to repair and insurance are less even though we are safer in a crash if in a larger vehicle. The logic of your article is DISTORTED!

Sun Badger
September 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm

I have a car on the oppsite end of the spectrum-a BMW Z4 convertable

Roy Mac
September 29, 2012 at 5:33 am

So the point of the article is that it is better to be dead than pay higher premiums? I don't think that these are the new thinkers as much as the non thinkers.

Blair
September 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

I agree with Ray on the Lancer. Now I may just have to go out and buy one of them, it's a killer vehicle!

Catherine
September 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm

I would think that not only the mass of a vehicle is important in what causes more damage, but also factors that would result in it getting into more crashes, such as driver visibility, ease in handling, stopping distance etc. So the calculation would be probability of a crash X damage in a crash.

Pat
September 28, 2012 at 11:39 am

These are the new thinkers. Not what car is the safest but you cause more damage with your big car. They want you to know only smart people drive smart cars.

Ray Costa
September 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

I agree that F=(MA), which begs the question of how a Mitsubishi Lancer got on the list. Granted they can go very fast, increasing the A in the equatin, but they don't ALWAYS go that fast. They aren't that common either. I would have thought something like a Cadilac Escalade would be a more likely candidate. Of course, I don't want to get hit by anything, not even a fusty Ford Fiesta, and I don't want to wreck my elderly Saab running into anyone else!

Sonny Liston
September 28, 2012 at 9:24 am

Since the beginning of time, F=(MA)