American motor insurers have revealed that smaller cars may be more likely to lead to injuries through a crash. But there may be a flaw to the logic.
The study, by the American Highway Loss Data Institute, has been covered as if it shows the likelihood of a crash leading to injury. In fact the figures simply show what proportion of insured drivers made an injury claim at all. The figures don't take into account how many of the drivers had a crash or what the split was between crash victims who had an injury and those who escaped unharmed.
The figures showed a wide disparity with 2.7 percent of insured Toyota Yaris drivers claiming for personal injury compared with 0.45 percent of Porsche 911 drivers. Another problem there is that the methodology doesn't take any account of whether Porsche drivers use their cars less often, or whether Yaris drivers are more likely to driver in busy traffic areas rather than open roads.
The study did note there was a wide variation in the average cost of damage to a particular model of car in a crash, even taking into account the fact that cars vary so much in price. The difference in repair costs between two similarly-priced cars can be one factor in determining insurance premiums.