Types of Vehicles Most Commonly Involved in Fatal Car Accidents in West Virginia
In West Virginia in 2011, there were 337 fatalities from vehicle crashes reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There were 465 vehicles involved in fatal crashes, and the following data reveals the vehicles most commonly involved in fatal accidents.
Passenger CarsA total of 168 passenger cars were involved in fatal crashes in West Virginia in 2011. Four-door hardtop sedans were involved in the most accidents, followed by two-door hardtop sedan coupes. Twenty-nine of these vehicles rolled over during the accidents, and seven of them caught on fire.
U.S. News & World Report compiles an annual report of the safest vehicles every year. In 2013, the 2014 Mazda3 received a perfect score for safety in affordable small cars, while the 2013 Kia Optima Hybrid ranked 10/10 for safety for affordable midsize cars.
Light TrucksNearly half of the vehicles involved in fatal accidents in West Virginia in 2011 were light trucks. The NHTSA classifies light trucks as utility trucks, minivans, vans and pickup trucks. Most fatal accidents occurred with standard pickup trucks, followed by compact utility trucks. Sixty-two of the 212 light trucks rolled over during the accident, and two caught on fire.
U.S. News & World Report ranked the 2014 Honda Ridgeline as the safest compact pickup truck with a score of 9.7/10. The 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and 2014 GMC Sierra 1500 ranked as the safest full-size pickup trucks with scores of 9.4/10. For minivans, the 2014 Honda Odyssey ranked highest in safety at 9.7/10.
Large TrucksLarge trucks include tractor-trailers, heavy-duty pickup trucks (such as the Ford Super Duty 450), semi-trucks and single unit trucks. There were 32 large trucks involved in fatal accidents with tractor-trailers as the most common type. In these crashes, six of the trucks rolled over and three caught fire.
Motorcycles and ATVsThere were 27 motorcycles involved in fatal crashes in West Virginia in 2011, and all but three were standard motorcycles; the exceptions were off-road motorcycles. Additionally, there were 19 crashes involving All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), which include three- and four-wheel models.
Motorcycles lack many of the standard safety features of passenger vehicles due to the nature of their design. While bikes do have some safety features, such as windshields and non-slip foot pegs, the majority of safety equipment is found on the rider. Motorcycle riders who wear helmets, gloves, padded clothing and secure, closed-toed footwear protect more parts of their body than improperly clothed riders.
BusesThere were two buses involved in fatal accidents that year, one school bus and one cross-country or intercity bus. Bus accidents can be very dangerous. In crashes where the bus rolls over or catches fire, it may become difficult for passengers to escape the wreckage. Fortunately, there were no bus rollovers or buses that caught fire in 2011.