Battery weight makes hybrids safer?

But hybrids aren’t safer for everyone.

The Washington Post reports,

People who invest in hybrid cars are significantly less likely to be injured in an accident because their heavy batteries make the vehicles safer than traditional cars, according to an insurance industry report released Thursday.

The average hybrid is 10 percent heavier than a traditional car of the same size, and the extra heft reduces the odds of being hurt in a crash by 25 percent, the report says.

According to a new report by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, occupants of hybrid vehicles are less likely to be hurt in a crash than people riding in conventional models. (Nov. 17)

“Saving at the pump no longer means you have to skimp on crash protection,” said Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute and author of the report.

But the Post also reported:

In a separate analysis, the institute found that hybrids are 20 percent more likely to hit a pedestrian than noisier, conventional models.

“When hybrids operate in electric-only mode, pedestrians can’t hear them approaching,” Moore said, “so they might step out into the roadway without checking first to see what’s coming.”

Regardless of the above, the current generation of hybrids is failing withe the public.

Read the Washington Post report.

4 thoughts on “Battery weight makes hybrids safer?”

  1. What about the danger of the acid if a battery breaks?
    Limit battery operated cars to driving on gravel only so they can be heard. Problem solved.

  2. I suspect its the “3% of sales are hybrids” that is responsible for the alledged increase in safety. If I flip a coin 30 times, and another 970 times. it is highly probable that the 30 flip coin may appear biased (ie: “heads” more often)

  3. Extra structural weight in a car (e.g., stronger frame, heavier bumper) makes it safer. Extra dead weight does not make a car safer.

    More to the point, weight in front of the passenger compartment, is a great offensive weapon in a head-on collision and would make such a vehicle the “winner” in some tests. It wouldn’t save lives; it would just help kill the other guy. Conversely, weight behind the passenger compartment can be bad news for the occupants.

    There could be a secondary effect from extra frame strength added to support the weight of the batteries. If the original article has been written by someone with the right curiosity, we might have been given a clue as to why hybrids are safer.

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