A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) shows that hybrids cause 25% fewer injuries in crashes than their internal combustion engine counterparts. Traditionally, drivers have had to sacrifice safety for fuel efficiency – the lighter the car, the more efficient the gas tank. However hybrid vehicles are more efficient and much heavier thanks to the massive battery packs they’re outfitted with – and thus safer to drive. Researchers know that heavier cars fare better in crashes — the more weight the car packs the less likely it is to fold up like an accordion and injure passengers — and now thanks to data reviewed by HLDI, it has been proven that driving a hybrid is officially safer for you and the earth.

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HLDI’s study was completed by surveying data from insurance claims resulting from accidents between 2002 and 2010 and comparing the hybrid version claims with the conventional internal combustion counterparts (Camry to Camry hybrid for instance). A clear 25% margin prevailed in favor of the hybrids when it came to injuries sustained in crashes. Data from multiple vehicle crashes was analyzed as well as single vehicle crashes — even when the hybrids collided with objects they were more likely to fare well. Hopefully, with the new law that says that hybrids and electric vehicles must install some sort of noise maker to protect pedestrians they’ll soon be all around safer cars for everyone on the road.

Weight is a big factor” says Matt Moore, HLDI vice president and an author of the report. “Hybrids on average are 10 percent heavier than their standard counterparts. This extra mass gives them an advantage in crashes that their conventional twins don’t have.” In the vehicle world, safety is a huge factor since people are carting around their loved ones and safer vehicles are very desirable. This report should help give green vehicles an even better edge in the market and as Moore noted, “saving at the pump no longer means you have to skimp on crash protection.”

+ Read the report