Study Examines America's Most Crashed Car Models

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Earlier this month the insurance comparison site Insurify passed around a study of the car models most likely to receiving speeding tickets. The worst offenders were all rather predictable, with Subaru’s WRX leading the charge. Other models, like the Scion FR-S and Volkswagen Golf GTI, helped paint a clearer picture — one that pointed toward younger motorists with a preexisting interest in speed.

While “Quick Cars Go Fast” isn’t the most compelling headline, Insurify released another study this week detailing America’s most accident-prone vehicles. The speeding study was pretty cut and dried, but this one is a bit more mysterious. What goes into an automobile that makes it perfect for crashing?

Affordability may play a factor. Of the 10 models involved in the most accidents, six come with MSRPs below $25,000. To determine which car models have the most prior accidents, researchers from Insurify yanked information from a database of over 1.6 million car insurance quotes. Drivers input personal and vehicle information, including the model of car they drive, and whether or not they have been in a prior accident during the past seven years. At-fault accidents were then compared against the population of drivers owning that model as a whole.

This resulted in the Subaru Crosstrek taking the dubious honor of being the most-crashed car in America. While the national average showed 13.64 percent of all models on the road having at least one prior accident, the Crosstrek sits at 25.81 percent. But we can’t really fault the car here. With the exception of having earned exceptional crash test results from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there’s nothing about the model that shouts “wreck me.”

The second and third most-crashed cars, Honda’s HR-V and the Hyundai Elantra GT, also possess above-average safety for their segment and low MSRPs. Yet the trend was not universal. Here’s the rest of the field arranged in descending order:

Infiniti Q50


Subaru WRX


Mazda3


Acura ILX


Lexus CT


Chevrolet Trax


Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

If you can use your powers of divination to find a common thread, we’d love to hear it. Because, outside of several models being popular among this author’s least driving-focused friends, we’ve no clue where to begin crafting a theory. Not all of the vehicles possess rock-bottom pricing or enviable safety scores and it seems pointless to hunt for meaning by counting how many are Japanese branded autos (it’s seven, by the way). Besides, no single manufacturer made the list more than twice.

[Image: Subaru]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • DanDotDan DanDotDan on Aug 19, 2019

    If I'm reading the study right, it's a report of what cars the most accident-prone drivers are driving now. It's not a report about what cars the most accident-prone drivers were driving when they had their accidents. So if I buy a Mustang GT, stuff it into the crowd at C&C, then get scared and buy a Crosstrek, the accident gets charged to the Subi and not the Stang.

  • Oldowl Oldowl on Aug 19, 2019

    Hoping that Subaru will reintroduce a turbo to the Forester line. A few years ago i rented one to navigate the Colorado Front Range and higher. Passed other vehicles with ease going up above 11000 feet. No bumper stickers involved.

  • Analoggrotto Colorado baby!
  • Rob Woytuck Weight is also a factor for ferries which for instance in British Columbia, Canada are part of the highway system.
  • Ajla I guess some people were big fans of Milli Vanilli and Real Dolls (don't Google that at work) but I have a very large problem with the fake engine sounds and fake transmissions. If you turn them off does it stay off forever or does it turn back on whenever you go into sport mode?
  • Probert That X frame was a killer. No nostalgia for these things to be honest. Yup - life of the party....
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh starting to see the concern about how many pro Hyundai blurbs and bits are popping up on the site. It is a very detailed review and well written ...
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