Driver death rates by make and model

IIHS periodically calculates driver death rates for individual models. Beginning with 2020 models, we also calculate the rate at which drivers of other vehicles are killed in crashes with a given model.

Both these rates provide perspectives on the relative safety of passenger vehicles across size and class. They take into account only deaths of drivers, not passengers, since every vehicle that crashes has a driver, but not every vehicle has passengers.

Rates are given as the number of driver deaths per million registered vehicle years. A registered vehicle year is one vehicle registered for one year.

A vehicle must have at least 100,000 registered vehicle years or at least 20 deaths in the four-year study period to be included. To increase the sample size and thereby improve the accuracy of the calculations, results are included for earlier model years (up to three) if the vehicle wasn’t substantially redesigned during that time. This is indicated in the model-year span column.

Death rates are adjusted for driver age and gender. Information on deaths is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Data on vehicle registrations come from IHS Markit.

The numbers in parentheses next to the overall death rate are 95% confidence bounds. The narrower the confidence interval, the more statistically reliable the estimate.

Driver death rates are not available for the newest models. We provide driver death rates for the most recent model years for which we can gather the registration and fatality data needed to provide statistically significant results. If you are looking for information on newer models, earlier model year results are good predictors if the vehicles haven’t been redesigned.

2020 and equivalent models

The overall driver death rate for all 2020 and equivalent models during 2018-21 was 38 deaths per million registered vehicle years. The overall other-driver death rate was 53. Four models had driver death rates of zero. The highest death rate was 205 for the Mitsubishi Mirage G4, a minicar. The lowest other-driver death rate was 6 for the Buick Encore four-wheel-drive, a small luxury SUV, and the highest was 189 for the Ram 3500 Crew Cab long bed four-wheel-drive pickup.

More info: “Latest driver death rates highlight dangers of muscle cars,” July 13, 2023

Driver death rates for earlier model years

Model year Calendar years Overall driver death rate for all models, per million registered vehicle years Number of models with zero driver death rate Vehicle with highest death rate Details
Vehicle Style Rate
2017 and equivalent models 2015-18 36 7 Ford Fiesta 4-door minicar 141
2014 and equivalent models 2012-15 30 11 Hyundai Accent 4-door minicar 104
2011 and equivalent models 2019-12 28 9 Kia Rio 4-door minicar 149
2008 and equivalent models 2006-09 48 7 Nissan 350Z sports car 143

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