hybrid-powered cars are about 25 percent less likely to be injured in a crash
than those in their conventional-powered counterparts, according to research
According to new research by the Highway Loss Data
Institute, the additional weight of the hybrid engine adds an extra layer of
safety over similar, non-hybrid cars. Cars with hybrid engines typically weigh
about 10 percent more than their gas-powered twins.
"This new research shows that hybrid engines not
only save fuel, but they may save lives," said Candysse Miller, executive
director of the Insurance Information Network of California. "Choosing a
car that saves gas doesn’t necessarily mean compromising on safety."
The report’s release coincides with the opening of the
Los Angeles Auto Show, which features many new and concept cars featuring
gas-electric hybrid engines.
The research compared 25 hybrid cars and their
gasoline-powered versions of the same vehicles, including the Toyota Camry,
Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord. The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, which are
not available with gasoline-powered engines, were not included in the study.
A separate analysis by the HLDI found that hybrids may be
as much as 20 percent more likely to be involved in collisions with pedestrians
than their gas-powered counterparts, likely due to their quiet engines. The
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is currently developing policy
to equip electric and hybrid cars with sounds to alert unsuspecting