Combining Two Critical Aspects To Pick the Right Car
We know that Clean Fleet Report readers are laser-focused on fuel economy. They may have a variety of different types of vehicles that they’re after, but mpg is always one of the must-haves on the wish list. But no one’s list has only one key attribute. Next on our list, jostling for the top spot, is safety. While new cars have gotten smarter and safer every year, some models still rise to the top of the list. So, here we present the Top 10 cars that can claim to not only be safe, but environmentally friendly. We’ve provided links to our recent road tests or news stories as well.
It’s not pretty, but it’s helping make cars safer
Our source for the safety ratings is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which has made its reputation by crashing cars in tests more stringent than those of the government. Because it publicizes the results—often with grisly videos—the industry pays attention and has begun to design its vehicles to not only ace the government standard, but IIHS’ tests as well. IIHS ranks its Top Safety Picks based on five crashworthiness tests—small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. The organization also looks at headlight quality superior front crash prevention.
The good news is there are more than 10 safe and fuel efficient vehicles, so we’ve sliced the selections a little more. We’ve broken this list into two groups—the first is the vehicles that are dedicated alternative fuel models—four solid choices. The second group is cars that have conventional as well as alt fuel versions. From them we’ve chosen representative models from the 11 categories so a broad range of choices are available.
The Core Group
- 2017 Toyota Prius – Just redesigned and build on a new platform, Toyota obviously put safety at the top of the list along with its traditional laser-like fuel efficiency focus
The most popular hybrid is safe, too
that has always characterized the best-selling model. One caveat if you’re looking at used Prius, the IIHS pick only applies to cars manufactured after August 2016.
- 2017 Chevrolet Volt – GM’s second generation Volt also leads the list when equipped with the optional front crash prevention package. The Volt can also be proud as it’s the only dedicated plug-in vehicle on the list.
- 2017 Lexus CT 200h – Rounding out the small car picks is Lexus hybrid-only model. The safety pick applies only to the models with the optional front crash prevention.
- 2017 Toyota Prius V – Toyota’s hybrid wagon, which the IIHS classifies as a midsize car, rounds out the list of dedicated green and safe cars.
Six More Top Picks
- The 2017 Audi A3, which has a plug-in version known as the 3-tron, made the list of safe midsize luxury cars. It offers a nice balance of fuel efficiency, technology and performance.
- In large cars, the 2017 Toyota Avalon, which includes a hybrid model, was the only car IIHS awarded its top pick to.
- Small SUVs are a fast-growing segment, so it’s heartening that IIHS found three models that have alt fuel models. The 2017 Nissan Rogue and 2017 Toyota RAV4 which have hybrid versions, made the cut, as did the 2017 Hyundai Tucson, which offers a fuel cell model (which we’re sure IIHS did not crash test). IIHS did call out that optional front crash protection and specific headlights were needed to provide the highest level of safety.
- Midsize luxury SUVs also had good representation on the IIHS list, including the 2017 Acura MDX, which has a hybrid model, the 2017 Volvo XC90, which has a plug-in hybrid version, and the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLE, which also has a plug-in hybrid.
- The minivan segment is led by the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica, which has a plug-in hybrid model. It achieves the trifecta of maximum people and stuff hauling along with safety and fuel economy. IIHS made note they only recommended cars built after 2016.
- Finally, we’ll mention the minicar class, which included the 2017 Toyota Yaris. While not a hybrid or plug-in, it is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in that class.
Lots of choices combine top safety and top fuel economy
Other safety contenders included the 2017 Golf (or e-Golf), the 2017 Ford Fusion (which has a hybrid and plug-in hybrid version), the 2017 Chevrolet Malibu (hybrid), 2017 Honda Accord (hybrid), 2017 Hyundai Sonata (hybrid and plug-in hybrid), 2017 Kia Optima (hybrid and plug-in hybrid), 2017 Toyota Camry (hybrid), 2017 Lincoln MKZ (hybrid) and Mercedes-Benz C-Class (plug-in hybrid).
Lots to choose from.
Related Stories You Might Enjoy:
Road Test: 2017 Chevrolet Volt
Road Test: 2017 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Comparison Test: 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid & Plug-in Hybrid
Road Test: 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid
Road Test: 2017 Kia Optima Hybrid
Road Test: 2017 Lexus CT 200h
Road Test: 2017 Ford Fusion Energi
Road Test: 2017 Hyundai Plug-in Hybrid
Road Test: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid
An Insurance Perspective on Autonomous Technology
Tesla’s Video of its Self-Driving Technology
It goes without saying that preservation of life is the reason to invest in road and car safety technology, but the financial implications that fatal and non-fatal accidents have on the economy areanother factor which cannot be ignored.
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the total cost of prevention of reported road accidents is estimated to be $871 billion per year.
Fatal and non-fatal accidents impact financially upon the following elements.
● Medical Care
● Emergency Services
● Market Productivity
● Household Productivity
● Legal Costs
● Insurance Administrative Costs
● Workplace Costs
● Property Damage
There were an estimated 38,300 people killed on US roads in 2015.
In a 2015 McKinsey Report, researchers estimated autonomous vehicles (AV) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) could reduce accidents by up to 90 percent; more than 90 prcent of accidents each year are caused by human error , but with AVs this factor is obviously completely removed.
Using the figures provided by the NHTSA – the widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles could save the US approximately $784 billion per year.
It also means that self-driving cars could save as many as 34,470 lives per year, which over a period of a decade would equate to saving nearly 350,000 people.
‘Current and Future Car Safety Technology’ Resource
Until now, car safety technology development has been about assisting the driver’s manual actions and mitigating the adverse ones. However, we are in an era where autonomous vehicles completely remove the element of human error. In order to showcase these advancements in car safety and the shift from manual, to automated, to autonomous, Quoteme.ie have created a resource which documents both current and future technologies and their respective influence on making our roads safer. Current and Future Car Safety Technology also highlights which pioneering manufacturers are already incorporating these cutting-edge innovations into some of the more advanced vehicle models.
View the resource in full here.
Addressing Electric Car Safety Concerns
In a general sense, people love things that are new and intriguing. We always have, and we always will be drawn to things that we have never experienced. However, in this same vein, people are generally wary of anything new and unknown. This is the same approach that many have used when discussing electric cars. Electric cars are steadily making the automotive industry more exciting, and they have become a staple in many homes across the country. It is not exactly surprising or difficult to see why they have become so popular.
These cars have crafted a nice little pocket of space for themselves within the automotive industry, but they are still far off from becoming the go-to vehicle for every person who needs to get around. The main reasons behind this are because there are still many modifications and enhancements being added on to these cars, and there are also numerous safety concerns due to how novel these cars are. Let’s take a look at how just how safe electric cars are in comparison to more traditional motor vehicles.
Batteries have caught fire in EVs, but fire is not major concern
Ever since the first electric car was made available, there have been questions about its safety as compared to traditional forms of transportation. There was a major concern about electric cars being vulnerable to electric fires. The main risk that is posed by electric cars stems from the battery pack. In most cases, these battery packs provide an extra layer of protection for the electric car. However, if the battery pack is exposed to severe external damage it could lead to an electrical short, which could start a fire.
However, this does not actually make electric cars more likely to catch fire than conventional vehicles. On the contrary, there are still more car fires that are attributed to gasoline-powered vehicles. Electric cars undergo intense and rigorous safety testing in order to make sure that they meet the basic safety standards that are desired for traditional vehicles. In addition to this, these vehicles must also undergo specific safety tests that help limit chemical battery spills, keep the battery secure during an accident and prevent electric shortages.
As was stated above, Electric cars go through rigorous safety checks to make sure that they are ready for road use. These safety checks involve making sure that the vehicle does not pose a threat to
The source of quiet
anyone sharing the road. Electric cars are not only designed with efficiency in mind, but also safety. These cars are much heavier than conventional vehicles, with most of their extra weight placed underneath the floor of the vehicle. That means that they have a lower center of gravity. If a driver makes a sharp turn, or finds himself or herself in a full on skid, it is less likely that their vehicle will turnover if it is an electric car.
There has been some concern about the silent operation of electric cars. This concern is geared more towards pedestrians than it is to drivers. Some people believe that the silent operation of these cars will make it hard for pedestrians to be aware of the vehicle’s location and this could greatly impact pedestrian safety. In response to this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has begun work on some methods to curb this, such as requiring electric cars to emit audible sounds while operating at low speeds. This option is already available on many electric cars across the country.
When plugged in, EVs can be vulnerable
The amount of connectivity that electric cars have compared to conventional cars has also raised some concern amongst the public. The thing about making something new is that you get the chance to try out other new things alongside it. This rings true for electric cars as well. Since their debut, electric cars have accommodated smart technology in the hopes that these two entities will help create the car of the future. The smart technology within some of these new electric cars makes them capable of amazing things, while leaving them vulnerable to others.
With the Internet of Things (IoT) on the rise, electric cars with smart capabilities have also been receiving criticism because of the ability for cybercriminals to remotely hack into cars, leaving drivers exposed. Several smart cars have been hacked in the past year, mostly by hackers who are working to help car manufacturers increase the security on their vehicles. In other instances, these vehicles have been hacked by random individuals who just wanted to see if they could pull it off.
Electric cars can also be left exposed because of their charging stations. This is because of the combination of a physical security attack and a cybersecurity attack known as the substitution attack. This attack gives attackers the ability to digitally clone and use an electric car’s ‘identity.’ This tends to happen because public charging stations do not have the same end-to-end security protocols in place. Essentially, anyone can hook a car up to a public charging station and make use of it. This opens up the doorway to hackers who may want to exploit the vulnerability.
Electric cars are great! There are many benefits that they bring to the table, and they are a good alternative for drivers who value fuel efficiency. It will very likely take a good amount of time before
Overall, EVs are safe and getting safer
electric cars replace conventional cars as the majority of preferred motor vehicles across the world. However, this will not be because of their safety features. It simply will be because it takes time. The security features of electric cars are not in any way sub-standard, they are merely new measures that have been put in place for new cars.
In comparison to more conventional cars, electric cars match up equally in terms of security and safety; they only fall short when it comes to cyber security. The good thing about being closely matched in physical security is that if you happen to lock your keys in your car, it is still going to be possible for a car locksmith to get them out for you. Cybersecurity is a safety aspect that conventional cars also have to be wary of, so it doesn’t make electric cars any less safe than a conventional car. The electric car industry has promptly made amends to any safety issues that have arisen since the inception of electric cars, so it seems to be that safety is a top priority for them.
Aiming To Reduce Human Error
Cruise control was a breakthrough in how we control automobiles. The act of simply pressing a button and having a car maintain speed was revolutionary for its time. Now, there are many
Mirror, mirror, full of tech
innovative technologies that are promising to change the way we drive.
Many of these tech features aim to reduce human error and create the safe drive we all deserve. Accidents are all too common, usually due to human error. If your car is damaged or you are injured, you may be eligible for compensation. If this happens, it is important to contact lawyers specialized in car accidents.
Human Override Systems
It is too easy for a driver to make a mistake behind the wheel, such as drifting out of lane. Many vehicles today are capable of determining if you are leaving the lane or failing to brake, and override that function to keep you safe. This technology is already available in many new automobiles. Something like this could definitely help save your life.
Modern Heads-Up Display (HUD)
Heads-up display (HUD) moves into the 21st century
While the HUD is not a new concept to automobiles, the technology driving these displays is getting more and more advanced. Soon, it is quite feasible that you could have a display capable of augmented reality, showing destinations and navigation directions in real-time on your windshield.
As automobile evolve, they are becoming more connected to each other and the infrastructure around them. By using modern wireless technology, automobiles are capable of talking to one another as well as infrastructure like traffic lights. This can be used to improve fuel efficiency, improve flow of traffic, and prevent accidents.
Partially Autonomous Vehicles
There are many examples of partially autonomous vehicles on the road today. One example is the automatic cruise control that many manufacturers are adding to their vehicles. This type of cruise control is able to adjust the speed of your vehicle to match the car in front of you. Your car is even capable of braking if the car in front of you comes to a full stop. This feature is already used by many automakers.
Remote Vehicle Shutdown
If your vehicle is stolen, many cars with connective technology are capable of being shut down, foiling a potential theft and reducing damages. This can really help save you a lot of money down the road as well as keep your information safe and secure.
This is just a small sample of the innovative tech features automakers have been adding to their vehicles. By adding these tech features, cars are safer, easier to use, and create a more enjoyable experience for drivers everywhere.
Tech features of the future could lead to a car like this Mercedes concept