Back in the day having the biggest and most meanest-looking car was what mattered. Safety wasn't a very big priority, however, which is probably why a lot of road accidents did not end too well for the occupants. Fast forward to the present and car manufacturers are now constantly working on making their cars as safe as possible while still retaining the sleek and sporty looks. Seat belts and airbags are pretty much mandatory in cars all over the world now and instead of adding more material at the front and back, automobile manufacturers have figured out the science behind crumple zones, a structural design of the car that can absorb energy upon impact and keep the occupants safe.
Still, even now some cars are more likely to keep their driver and the occupants safe than others. Other more notorious cars such as the Ford Pinto have now become case studies about car safety regulations. If you're on the lookout for a new car or even an old one, one of the first things you should do is check the safety ratings to make sure that vehicle has all the necessary options for occupant safety. We set out and did some research of our own and came up with a list of 20 cars that no one should drive if they want to live. Keep in mind that these cars have either been rated badly by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) or are considered unsafe after general consensus by users.
20 Kia Rio
In a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) the Kia Rio was on the first rank as the deadliest car for having a driver fatality rate of 149 per million registrations.
By the time the 2017 reports from IIHS were released, they had improved and brought the previous figures down to 102 fatalities per million registrations which is still considerably high and ranked them at second on the list.
A compilation of fatality tolls from vehicles modeled from 2009-2012 the Rio had a count of 149 which is huge and thus got it the first spot on the list. Results from crash tests done on the Rio by the IIHS show that the Rio had vulnerabilities in the leg and head area causing it to be unsafe.
19 DeLorean DMC 12
It became famous for its role in the “Back to the Future” movie where Marty McFly used it to visit the year 2015. Thirty thousand units of the car were planned to be made however only 9200 were produced and not many were according to the ideas of John Z DeLorean. The main concern other than the drive was the safety, which was the all the worse due to its design. The Gull-wing doors in a crash could be jammed, and the windows were small too which meant no escape for the passengers in case of a crash. There was no safety release included either which makes it one of the deadliest cars ever.
18 Hyundai Pony
The Pony was really popular in North America back in the 1980s. It sold half a million cars in just a span of two years from 1984 to 1985. There were two reasons behind this, firstly being that it was the first mass-produced car from South Korea and secondly the low price tag.
However, the Pony was really deadly and prone to accidents.
The Pony was very prone to rust, and the point breaker ignition both made sure the car would not run as brand new more than a few thousand miles. The main issue here was the old technology that used the cheap raw materials to construct the body offering very little protection during accidents.
17 Geely CK
The Geely CK is a Chinese produced car and it only sells in a few markets namely South America, Russia and the country of origin China of course. The availability of the car on a few markets are however not by choice of the manufacturer, but actually, because the car could not meet standards. Due to this, authorities from the US and most European countries have not passed it as tests have shown the body of the car to be prone to completely collapsing when it meets with an accident. The second issue was that it had no airbags which is a basic safety standard introduced in almost all cars in the biggest markets.
16 Chevy Colorado
Usually people who own pickup trucks feel more safe and powerful for driving such a strong and hefty looking vehicle, however, it is the complete opposite with the Chevy Colorado. This pickup truck has a massive statistic which is 93 fatalities for every million registrations. To add to that number, most of these come under the single vehicle accidents which are even worse.
The reason for this is mainly because of the handling which is difficult for most users and power from the engine that most drivers may underestimate making the vehicle go out of control. If you are looking for a pickup truck to feel more protected, the Chevy Colorado is one to stay away from.
15 Audi 5000
Audi is one of the well known and celebrated German car manufacturers even today, but the Audi 5000 was a car produced by them which ruined their reputation.
The Audi A4 is one of the safest cars as a report from the IIHS shows zero fatalities, however, the Audi 5000 which was the predecessor to the Audi A6 is the complete opposite.
The problem was with a system on the car which was known as the idle stabilization system. The car ended up launching forward while braking which was obviously unexpected for drivers. Some estimates showed around 1000 crashes due to this problem which is massive.
14 Toyota Yaris
Owning smaller cars and mostly hatchbacks have become a habit in most regions. Firstly they take up less garage space, consume less fuel, taxes are lower, spare parts are cheaper and they can get you through tighter spaces when in need. The Toyota Yaris is the perfect example of such cars, however, there is a downside to owning such small cars which is the dangers of meeting with an accident. The Toyota Yaris had 29 injury claims out of every 1000 units sold. The main reason behind this was that the car crumpled much easily compared to larger vehicles making the impact being felt on the inside. Sadly even advance safety technology could not even overcome this making it a really unsafe car.
13 Chevrolet Corvair
Chevrolet was competing with Porsche at that time Porsche was making rear-mounted engine cars at that time and the Corvair was one that Chevrolet made.
The Chevrolet Corvair, unfortunately, gained a notorious reputation really quickly due to the design, but it was not completely the design's fault for the accident.
Most American drivers had really less experience with rear-mounted engine cars and could not cope up with the understeer it created making it tough to handle. Chevrolet could have helped by providing an anti-roll bar to avoid it, but they did not predict the problem and so making it a disaster in its time.
12 Nissan Versa
The Nissan Versa is one of the deadliest cars on the road with the sedan model having 130 fatalities and the hatchback having 71 in the 2009-2012 survey. Another statistic is 95 per million registrations. The newer models reduced them but still kept a high fatality and crash toll compared to most cars on the road. Crash tests conducted by the IIHS showed that the airbag deployment failed and ended up leaving the head vulnerable to come in contact with the front structure of the car. The front was mainly the problem and this resulted in the Versa receiving the lowest grade possible in safety rankings.
11 Ford Pinto
The Ford Pinto is another one from many of Ford’s safety failures and it easily makes this list because it has been and always will be deemed as one of the deadliest cars. The first reason why the Pinto is dangerous is related to a problem with the automatic transmission.
The design of the transmission led to a fault in gear where it would change without warning.
However, the more blamed design flaw was a really stupid one by Ford where they decided to place the gas tank really close to the rear. This design decision leads to the Ford Pinto exploding even on the most minor of contacts from the rear.
10 Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer had a design based upon to the Ford Bronco II. They made both of these a compact SUV and rugged at the same time. Unfortunately, the Explorer inherited most of the issues from the Bronco along with the design. The major issue is that the Ford Explorer was prone to roll over. Ford had implemented changes in design to make sure this problem did not persist however they failed in doing so. They then advised the owners to keep the tire pressure low, although that helped in it gaining more balance it made the tires lose grip and cause more accidents making it more unsafe.
9 Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent has topped many lists for being unsafe, and both the sedan and the hatchback model have had safety concerns.
A survey in 2009-2012 showed results that the four doors Accent had 120 fatalities while the two-door sedan had 86 fatalities.
The IIHS reports show that the driver space is seriously compromised and there is a potential of injuries to the left hip, knee and lower leg in case a high severity crash occurs. Another statistic is 104 per million registrations which is again massive and shows how dangerous this car is and it has been the deadliest car in America since 2011.
8 Chevrolet Aveo
The Chevrolet Aveo is another one of Chevrolet's cars that have been deemed deadliest. It has a fatality rate of 58 per million which proves how deadly the car can be, and most of these were in multiple car crashes. The Aveo has improved as statistics from a survey during 2009 to 2012 showed 99 per million, and that now has been lowered to just 58. The IIHS ratings show that the side impact, rear crash protection, and roof strength test results have been rated at just marginal which is not the kind of rating any safe car would get.
7 Chevrolet Camaro
The Chevrolet Camaro is another example of a really great American muscle car, and usually, these come for a cheaper price. The Camaro although not lightweight and really sturdy has bad safety statistics.
The statistics have not improved as surveys from 2009-2012 reveal 80 fatalities per million, and the statistics from the year 2008-2011 had exactly the same statistic.
These were almost evenly split between multi-vehicle and single vehicle crashes. The Camaro may have been a culprit or so many fatalities mainly because it offers more power than the driver may expect, and it being comparatively cheap to other powerful alternatives and so inexperienced drivers go for it.
6 Chevrolet Silverado
The Silverado is a powerful four-wheel drive pick-up truck by Chevrolet and unfortunately is it another deadly car produced by Chevrolet. It comes just after the Chevrolet Camaro as it has a statistic of 79 fatalities per million. Similar to the Camaro the statistic shows no improvement as it remains static in both surveys done from 2008-2011 and 2009-2012. Rollovers were few as compared to crashes; however, single-vehicle crashes were counted up to 36 while multiple vehicle crashes were 40. This is another powerful car produced by Camaro and it would have been a great pick-up truck if it was safer on the road.
5 Ford Focus
Chevrolet has been really struggling with the safety test reports in this century however most small cars produced by Ford, unfortunately, have started to pick up the pace and follow the tracks of Chevrolet.
As of 2017 four-door Focus sedans have had an unfortunate statistic which is 68 fatalities per million registrations for cars registered from years 2011-2014.
Around seventy percent of these resulted from multiple car crashes. Another survey done from the year 2008-2011 showed 70 per million registrations. Safety tests performed by the IIHS have revealed the problem to be due to the weak structure of the car and also a weak safety cage which was found during the front overlap test.
4 Nissan Cube
Nissan is one of the best car producers and really well known around the globe, however, this car from them was an overall disaster. The Cube is really ugly to look at, it looks as if Nissan just took some of the worst features from other cars and then packaged them into one single car. However, the safety statistics are the real problem here, according to a survey conducted from 2009-2012 the cube has had 66 fatalities per million registration which is no lesser than any car on this list. It is a car which Nissan must regret building as it has damaged their reputation and possibly one nobody would want to buy firstly for the design and secondly for the safety standards it fails to achieve.
3 Chevrolet Suburban
The Chevrolet Suburban started out in the year 1935 and is considered the longest running automotive nameplate still in production. Not much has changed except the leather interior, new outlook, and a few modern features over around 80 years.
The new Suburban has many safety features introduced in it including airbags, cameras and parking sensors, traction and stability control.
These features must have been introduced due to it being unsafe as shown by a survey from the year 2009-2012 revealing 60 fatalities per million registrations and that is a lot and enough for a vehicle to be deemed dangerous to drive.
2 Pontiac Fiero
The Pontiac Fiero was produced in 1984 and the name is very ironic, which you will find out soon enough. The Pontiac Fiero aced the crash tests it had been put through and it was one of the highest achievers in those circumstances. However, the Fiero was still deemed highly unsafe, and that is because it ended up bursting in flames without any kind of warning whatsoever; Hence the irony in its name. The reason behind this was because the owners had no accurate directions about how much oil was to be put inside the car and combined with some faulty wiring and coolant lines located in undesirable places on the engine, disaster would happen.
1 Ford Mustang
Before 2015, the Ford Mustang was one of the deadliest cars on the road as advanced safety technology had not been introduced to them. The 2014 Ford Mustang Coupe in specific had a figure of 58 fatalities per million registrations which is a lot.
Most of these were single-vehicle crashes which meant rollover crashes were common and some IIHS crash reports revealed that there were some faults in side crash tests.
Some reports have even shown that crashes are four times more than that of an average car. The car is cheap too while being great at performance which could mean that young and inexperienced drivers purchasing these could also be a reason for the statistics.