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Do fatality rates in certain cars tell the whole story?

Cars must pass certain safety protocols before going into production, but that doesn't mean they all offer the same exactly level of safety to those inside. You can look at the fatality rates for various makes and models and see which ones are involved in the most deadly accidents, perhaps showing a link that makes you wary when it's time to go buy a new car.

However, experts do warn that fatality rates don't always tell the whole story and don't always mean the car itself is the problem. There are just too many factors in play.

For example, the Nissan 350Z was compared to average sports cars, and it was found that the 350Z's fatality rate was around twice that average. This suggests that the 350Z is terrifically unsafe, but is that true?

Not according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The group's communications director noted that the 350Z is often driven by young drivers. They are more likely to take risks behind the wheel and they have less experience. This is a group that, in any vehicle, tends to have high fatality rates. He didn't blame the car for the inflated stats as much as he blamed the drivers who often bought that car.

He also noted that, when these drivers were in accidents, they tended to be serious crashes, not minor fender-benders.

This case just goes to show how many different factors can play into one statistic, and it's important to really understand all of the things that contribute to car accidents. When another driver -- perhaps one who is young and inexperienced -- causes an accident, it's also critical to know your potential rights to compensation.

Source: Forbes, "Top 20 Most Dangerous Vehicles," Bengt Halvorson, accessed Feb. 24, 2017

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