IIHS analysis measured driver death rates from 2006 through 2009. When IIHS researchers looked at car crash death rates by vehicle style, they found that minivans have the best safety record with a death rate of 25 driver deaths per million registered vehicles. SUV's came in second with 28 driver deaths per million registered vehicles; pickup trucks had an average of 52 driver deaths per million registered vehicles. Cars as a group didn't do as well the larger vehicles. There were 56 driver deaths per million registered vehicles. However, when broken down by size the researchers found that size matters. The death rate was 46 driver deaths per million registered vehicles for the largest cars compared to four-door minicars with a death rate of 82 driver deaths per million registered vehicles.
It's not just weight that gives minivans and SUVs an advantage; it is also the vehicle's height. When cars and SUVs of similar weight were compared, the SUVs still had lower death rates.
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