List: The Deadliest New Cars On The Road, And The Least Deadly

July 26, 2023 | Article by Chain | Cohn | Clark staff | Tips & Information

List: The Deadliest New Cars On The Road, And The Least Deadly

New American muscle cars with high horsepower and a hot rod image rank among the deadliest vehicles on the road for their own drivers, and for people in other vehicles, according to a new analysis by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Six of the 21 vehicles with the highest driver death rates for model year 2020 are variants of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger and Ford Mustang, while eight others are small cars or minicars. See the listing below.

“We typically find that smaller vehicles have high driver death rates because they don’t provide as much protection, especially in crashes with larger, heavier SUVs and pickups,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “The muscle cars on this list highlight that a vehicle’s image and how it is marketed can also contribute to crash risk.”

On the other end, 18 of the 23 vehicles with the lowest driver death rates are minivans or SUVs, and 12 are luxury vehicles.

The study also calculated the best and worst models based on the number of drivers in other vehicles killed in crashes with them. Large vehicles, such as pickups and midsize SUVs, were among the worst performers in terms of other-driver deaths, indicating the potential danger these vehicles pose to other road users.

One factor contributing to the higher driver death rates of muscle cars is the aggressive driving behavior often associated with their image and marketing. In contrast, luxury vehicles tend to prioritize safety features and crash avoidance systems, making them perform better in terms of driver and other-driver death rates.

The overall trend in driver death rates for 2020 and equivalent models showed an increase compared to previous years, likely due to a larger number of U.S. traffic fatalities during the study period. From 2018 to 2021, the United States had 155,136 traffic deaths, up from 147,599 from 2015 to 2018. Speeding-related deaths rose 8% from 2020 to 2021, accounting for nearly one-third of car crash fatalities, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported recently.

These are the 10 vehicles with the highest U.S. driver death rates (per million registered vehicles):

  • Mitsubishi Mirage G4: 205
  • Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback: 183
  • Dodge Challenger 2WD: 154
  • Hyundai Accent: 152
  • Chevrolet Spark: 151
  • Kia Rio sedan: 122
  • Dodge Charger HEMI 2WD: 118
  • Chevrolet Camaro convertible: 113
  • Nissan Altima: 113
  • Kia Forte: 111

On the other end, these are the vehicles with the lowest U.S. driver death rates (per million registered vehicles):

  • BMW X3 4WD: 0
  • Lexus ES 350: 0
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class: 0
  • Nissan Pathfinder 2WD: 0
  • Audi Q5 4WD: 2
  • Toyota C-HR: 2
  • Nissan Murano 2WD: 4
  • Volvo XC90 4WD: 4
  • GMC Canyon Crew Cab 4WD: 5
  • Lexus RX 350 4WD: 5
  • Subaru Outback: 5
  • Toyota Sienna 2WD: 5
  • Volvo XC60 4WD: 5

See the full results of the study by clicking here.


If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at