Is buying a larger car safer?

To some degree, you can’t even influence whether or not you get into a car accident. You can influence whether or not you cause one, of course, and you can reduce your odds of getting hit by another driver through defensive driving, but it only goes so far. At some point, another driver can still make a mistake and hit your car. There’s always that chance. 

In order to stay safe, then, you may want to focus on what car you’re driving when you do get hit. To that end, studies have found that a bigger car is generally safer. 

Why is this true? Height plays a role. Small cars may go under larger ones. Being in the tallest vehicle means you don’t face this extreme hazard of having another car impact your windshield. 

Most of it is just the physics associated with weight and mass, though. When two objects collide, the transfer of energy depends on the weight of the objects (along with the speed and other such factors). Overall, energy tends to move from the larger object to the smaller one. 

As such, a smaller car may actually get pushed back when it hits, for instance, a large pickup truck. Anyone in the small car has to deal with a higher level of force striking their body than someone in the truck. You can also factor in that the smaller vehicle has less sheer bulk — the frame, etc — to protect those people inside. 

Even buying the largest vehicle you can doesn’t guarantee you won’t get injured. If you do, be sure you are well aware of your legal rights to compensation. You shouldn’t have to suffer the financial consequences of someone else’s mistakes.