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Large cars and the feeling of safety

Some experts have a theory about why Americans tend to buy such large vehicles: They simply want to feel safe.

There is some science behind it. If two vehicles collide, those in the larger, higher vehicle may be safer. They have more mass behind them, the impact occurs lower on their bodies, and the like. More force is transferred into the smaller object -- the other car. This is why many semi accidents are deadly for other drivers, while the semi drivers are fine.

The problem, one expert wrote, is that this can create a vicious cycle. A man with a small car moves in next to a woman with a mid-sized SUV, for example. He wants to feel safe in his car, so he buys a full-sized SUV. The woman then feels like her car is too small, so she buys a pickup truck. The man, feeling his vehicle is now too small, buys a full-sized pickup with a lift kit.

Obviously, this example is massively simplified and this situation wouldn't likely play out simply based on what car the neighbors drive, but the mindset is still there. When shopping for a new car, some buyers note the number of large trucks and SUVs on the road and decide not to buy a small car, regardless of crash test ratings.

One problem is that, while the person in the bigger vehicle may be safer, everyone else with a small vehicle is then in more danger. The risk of injury goes up. The safety of others is not prioritized.

Those who are hurt in the resulting accidents then may have to look into their rights to financial compensation for serious injuries caused by an abundance of large vehicles.

Source: Jalopnik, "Aren't We Done Buying Big Cars Just To Feel Safe?," Zac Estrada, accessed June 01, 2017

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