Study Examines America's Most Crashed Car Models

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
study examines americas most crashed car models

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]

Comments
Join the conversation
2 of 68 comments
  • 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.

  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
  • ToolGuy You make them sound like criminals.
Next