So the news is in, hybrid vehicle drivers are less likely to suffer fatal injuries in a crash than regular gas drivers, about 25 percent less likely. Why is this? Well, weight is one contributing factor. While hybrid vehicles share the same dimensions as their traditional counterparts, the battery, motor and electronics provide greater mass. In other words, advanced technology is heavy stuff…man. A Toyota Highlander Hybrid, as an example, weighs 330 pounds more than the gasoline version of the same make and model. So what do we come away with at the end? All things being equal, heavier cars fare better than lighter ones in a crash.
“Weight is a big factor,” Matt Moore, Institute v.p. and author of the report, said in a statement. “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.”
But of course, anyone who has studied philosophy or research methods in high school or college can tell you that correlation does not always equal causation, and the confusion of the two is one of the most common fallacies in science and reasoning. Maybe hybrid drivers drive slower? Maybe people who would drive a hybrid are more aware of their surroundings on the highway?
These are important questions to ask, and the institute that carried out the study asked these very same questions, including controls to minimize the impact of such variables. Even after taking such possible factors into account, the findings show that if a fast and reckless driver were driving a hybrid instead of a gas loving counterpart, they are still less likely to suffer fatal injuries.
So what is the ultimate take away? Maybe when you are at the auto lot, and you are comparing hybrid apples to gas loving oranges, you can take a 25 percent fatality reduction into account when making your buying decision. Also, when you drive a hybrid, people tend to think that you are cool…in an Al Gore kind of way, and that you probably read the New Yorker. When trying to pull off this image, It also helps if you wear thick rimmed glasses…and maybe a bow tie.
Phoenix Valley auto and tech enthusiasts should seriously consider taking a road trip out to Los Angeles in late November for the LA Auto Show, a popular platform for the worlds leaders in design, engineering, and electronics to debut their most cutting edge concepts and developments.
Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should also plan on attending the Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show to learn about the most recent concepts and innovations from the hybrid wing, as well as the rest of the auto industry, taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.