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What Makes Cars More Vulnerable in Crashes?

woman holding neck after car accident

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security, there were 192,984 motor vehicle accidents in Tennessee in 2021. Of those, 24,872 collisions occurred in Davidson county.

While the potential for severe damage and resulting injuries is present in any collision, some vehicles may be more vulnerable than others. Certain factors can make a car more vulnerable in an accident, including:

  • Size and weight.
  • Speed at the time of the crash.
  • Type of accident.

In this article, we will take a closer look at some of these factors and explore how they can impact a car's crashworthiness.

Size and Weight

It is well-known that larger vehicles are generally safer in crashes than smaller cars. There is more distance between the driver and the front of the vehicle, meaning more material needs to be crushed before the driver is impacted. Larger vehicles also tend to have more substantial construction, which can better protect occupants in crashes. A report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) showed that occupant deaths decreased over the years as the size of the vehicle increased.


The faster a car is going, the harder it is to stop. The more difficult it is to stop, the more severe the collision will be. In general, the collision's severity is directly proportional to the car's speed. This means that if a vehicle doubles speed, the collision's severity will also double. If a car triples its speed, the severity of the collision will triple and so on.

Of course, other factors can affect the severity of a collision, such as whether or not seatbelts are worn, but speed will always be a significant factor.

Type of Accident

Car accidents come in all shapes and sizes, from minor fender benders to major multi-car pile-ups. But no matter how big or small, all car accidents have the potential to cause serious injuries.

Some of the most common types of car accidents include:

  • Rear-end collisions,
  • Sideswipes,
  • Head-on collisions,
  • Rollovers,
  • And single-vehicle accidents.

While rear-end collisions are often the least serious, they can still result in whiplash and other neck and back injuries. Sideswipes typically occur when two vehicles collide while traveling in the same direction and can often be caused by distracted driving. Head-on collisions are among the most dangerous car accidents, as they often involve high speeds and can result in severe injuries or even death. Rollovers usually occur when a vehicle overturns after hitting an object or veering off the road.

Can a Vehicle's Color Influence the Risk of an Accident?

The color of your car might not be something you think about when it comes to safety, but it could impact your risk of being in a crash. A study by an Australian university found that black cars are more likely to be involved in accidents than vehicles of any other color (12 percent higher). The reason for this is not fully understood, but it could be because black cars are less visible on the road.

If you were involved in a car accident resulting in injury, call us today at (615) 697-6503 or fill out our form online today for a free consultation!

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