KIA Insider

Buick LaCrosse ranked as metro Denver's deadliest car

If you have a serious accident in a subcompact car or a sports car, the chances of suffering a fatality are nearly double the overall average.

“Despite recent advances in safety technology, our data suggests that small vehicles still aren’t as safe as larger vehicles when they are involved in serious accidents,” Phong Ly, CEO of iSeeCars, explains in a study the auto website published earlier this week.

As for sports cars, they are meant to go faster. Crashes, when they do happen, can be deadlier.

Nationally, there were 2.6 fatalities for every 1 billion vehicle miles between 2012-17, according to the study, which examined accidents for 2013-17 model cars using a federal database. For subcompacts, the rate was 4.5 and for sports cars it was 4.6.

But the deadliest car, the Mitsubishi Mirage, had 10.2 deaths for every 1 billion miles driven. Other high-fatality models, with rates from 9.8 to 7.2, included the Chevrolet Corvette, Honda Fit, Kia Forte and Chevrolet Spark.

In metro Denver, a different and unexpected car topped the charts, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear. The Buick LaCrosse had a fatal accident rate of 13.0 versus an overall rate of 2.6 fatalities per one billion miles.

Its rate is five times higher than the Denver average. The LaCrosse isn’t a speed demon and it is a large sedan, not a tiny car that a big truck or SUV could easily crush. It performs well in federal and insurance industry safety tests, so much so that the Becker Law Office in Kentucky recommends it as one of the safest large sedans to provide a teenage driver.

“While it didn’t crack the overall national list, the Buick LaCrosse ranked 27th overall, with a fatal accident rate of 3.5, which is well above average,” said Julie Blackley, a spokeswoman with iSeeCars.

Denver was the only metro where the LaCrosse ranked as the deadliest vehicle. But it did get as high as fifth in Washington, D.C.; Flint, Mich.; and Hartford, Conn. It ranked third in Columbus, Ohio, Blackley said.

After the LaCrosse, the deadliest vehicles in metro Denver included the Kia Rio, with a fatality rate of 11.6; the Volkswagen Beetle at 11.2; the Nissan Frontier at 10.9 and the Nisan Versa Note at 9.4.

For all of Colorado, the vehicle with the highest fatality rate was the Kia Soul, at 7.2.