The REAL Ten Most Dangerous Vehicles of 2009

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
the real ten most dangerous vehicles of 2009

Mike Dulberger recently gave us the 411 on Forbes magazine’s “ Most Dangerous Vehicles of 2009.” According to the safety campaigner, Forbes spiked his concerns about the [S]mart ForTwo’s safety. During the course of our discussions, I asked Mr. D. to right that wrong: send me the “real” 10 most dangerous new vehicles for sale in the US. And so he did. Those of you of a statistical bent can download Dulberger’s data dump for the dangerous decern here, including all the factors that comprise his SCORE index. And here are the updated stats for ALL 315 new vehicles for which Dulberger’s non-profit,, has calculations. As you might expect (if you knew the man), Mike’s got something to say on this terrible table. Jump for same, and his list of the ten most potentially deadly vehicles . . .

Mike writes:

I’ve completed my update to the databases using the latest IIHS and NHTSA data. Attached is my summary, comparing the safest 10 vs. the least safe 10 vehicles for 2009. These are culled from the complete line-up of 315 model-year 2009 vehicles (which I’ve also attached).

The risk index SCORE is a measure of relative fatality rates (the lower the better). The SCORE was created in ’05 and the value of 100 was set at that time to represent the driver fatality risk for the average passenger car for model-year 2005.

The worst 10 vehicles have risk index SCOREs between 118 and 137, or almost three times the fatality risk of the safest. They’re comprised of two groups. The first consists of light-weight pickup trucks, with an average weight of approximately 4200 lb. The outstanding difference between these pickups vs. the safest 10 vehicles is in rollover risk. The second group consists of “mini” size cars, with an average weight of approximately 2400 lbs. Not surprisingly, as a group these vehicles suffer from high frontal impact fatality risk due primarily to their very low weight.

10. Mazda B-Series 2-DR Pickup

9. Chevrolet Aveo 4-DR

8. Hyundai Accent 4-DR

7. Kia Rio 4-DR

6. Nissan Frontier Extended Cab Pickup

5. Smart ForTwo 2-Dr

4. Ford Ranger Regular Cab Pickup

3. Ford Ranger Extended Cab Pickup

2. Mazda B-Series Extended Cab Pickup

1. Kia Rio 5-DR

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2 of 57 comments
  • Niky Niky on Apr 21, 2009

    Not really surprising, as many SUVs have terrible frontal impact scores as well as rollover risk. The Accent itself merely scored 3-stars on the EuroNCAP and was cited as an "additional risk" due to cabin deformation. Which is better than Chevrolet's GMDAT products (such as the Aveo), which have had stars struck off their crash ratings because of actual crash-structure collapse.

  • Diablozx9 Diablozx9 on May 16, 2009

    WOW,, that freaked me out... I just bought an Accent,. I knew it wasnt going to be a safety king but,,, Then I remembered, I dont worry that much when I am on my Motorcycle,,,,

  • Art Vandelay It was junked due to all of the Peter puffing Tassos and EBFlex did in it. Nobody wants to ride in that. Clearly it is a Hyundai so they never go to the junkyard otherwise
  • Art Vandelay Tassos and EBFlex can puff each others peters in the back while it charges
  • Kenneth Ironic story here...My father's first Hyundai/Kia car was an 86 Hyundai Excel, we drove it from Oklahoma to California and back the first year he had owned it; it was so under powered that every hill on the interstate (and every other road) was done in second gear, he put 300,000 miles on it before he sold it. It wasn't fast, it wasn't fancy but it got the job done and never left him on the side of the road.He owns a 2020 Kia Soul now...My first Hyundai which I recently bought is a 2014 Hyundai Equus Signature which I picked up in Phoenix and drove back to Oklahoma, it is everything that the Excel isn't and so much more.
  • Analoggrotto Another step in towards total adoption of Tesla vehicles for the ENTIRE american public by 2025. Anyone who refuses to admit that TESLA is the best will be deported from our galaxy, our future and our universe.
  • Dukeisduke This makes me think of the gimmicky ads for some retail electricity providers here in Texas, specifically TXU Electric and Reliant - "free nights", "free weekends", etc.