The Insurance Research Council found that rising gas prices in the last few years have increased the number of serious auto accident injuries. The reason is that when drivers switch to smaller vehicles as a result of higher prices at the pump, more accident injuries ensue.
The institute took 9,000 accident claims from 2007, broke them down according to vehicle weight, and found that people driving compacts, sports cars and other smaller cars submitted injury claims that were 14 percent larger, on average, than those of people driving SUVs and other larger vehicles. A hidden cost of small car accidents, according to the study: more people lose work time because of injury than in large-vehicle accidents.
The large vehicle gas guzzler versus small vehicle great gas mileage choice is a false choice in terms of technology: carmakers can build large cars that get good gas mileage. The problem with large cars that get good gas mileage is that they accelerate much more slowly than consumers are willing to tolerate.