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Are Hybrids Safer in a Crash?

Study suggests their added mass offers an advantage.

by on Nov.21, 2011

A new study finds that occupants of gas-electric vehicles, like this 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid, are less likely to suffer injuries in collisions.

Mass may be the enemy when it comes to fuel economy but it offers a distinctive advantage when it comes to a crash – which may be a main reason why a new study shows that occupants are likely to come out better in a collision involving a hybrid vehicle than if they were riding in the same model using a conventional powertrain.

A study of 25 vehicles produced between 2003 and 2011 which offered both hybrid and conventional powertrains found that there was a 27% lower injury rate in the gas-electric models, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

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There’s a downside to the study, however, HLDI finding that in pedestrian accidents involving hybrids, there was a 20% higher injury rate.