NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Saving cash at the pump isn’t the only benefit of driving a hybrid.
According to research released Thursday by the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, your odds of being injured in a crash are 25% lower on average when traveling in hybrid vehicles than in the nonhybrid versions of the same cars.
The results may come as a surprise since in the not-too-distant past, fuel-efficient cars tended to be lighter and smaller and therefore more likely to come out on the losing end of any accident, the study says. Today’s hybrids are 10% heavier on average than their standard counterparts though, which researchers say helps explain the findings.
“This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don’t have,” Matt Moore, HLDI vice president and an author of the report, says in a press release.
Pedestrians aren’t so lucky. The HLDI also found that hybrids may be as much as 20% more likely to be involved in pedestrian crashes with injuries than their counterparts, due to their quiet engines.
“When hybrids operate in electric-only mode pedestrians can’t hear them approaching,” Moore says, “so they might step out into the roadway without checking first to see what’s coming.”
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