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The question of whether sports cars are really more dangerous than other kinds of cars is much like the debate about guns. One side says that guns don’t kill people: People do. The other points out that the statistical reality is that guns are used in an overwhelming number of homicides. Similarly, sports cars do turn out to be involved in more accidents than other types of vehicles. But it is quite clear that the cars aren’t killing people. The drivers are.
There’s not much inherently dangerous in modern sports cars. Although it’s true that some sports cars, such as Ferraris, BMWs and Maseratis, experience accidents at up to five and a half times the rate of the average vehicle, it is also true that almost all of these cars have state-of-the-art safety features that make them among the safest vehicles ever produced.
In the Past
There was a time when sports cars were legitimately dangerous. In the 1960s, many sports cars, like the Jaguar XKE or Corvette C1, had short windscreens, poor structural reinforcement, and lightweight bodies, sometimes made of fiberglass, that not only provided poor protection in an accident but could even shatter, creating extreme injury risks. However, those days are long gone.
Advanced Safety Features
Today’s sports cars have multiple airbags, all-wheel drive, active traction control, anti lock brakes, lane departure warning systems, engineered crumple zones and a slew of other safety features that help keep the car on the road and keep its occupants safe in the event of an accident. Yet there is one thing that has, unfortunately, partially offset these huge leaps forward in overall safety: power.
Words of Caution
Today’s sports cars produce truly frightening levels of horsepower and torque. It’s now possible to buy a car straight off the dealer lot that can perform at a level that only dedicated drag cars could achieve just 20 years ago. Vehicles like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat have so much power that more than one of these vehicles has been totaled out by overwhelmed novice drivers within just a few miles of having driven off the lot. While power is in and of itself not a safety threat, in the wrong hands, it can be as dangerous as a loaded gun.
It is, therefore, safe to say that modern sports cars are, in fact, more dangerous than other types of vehicles. And this is reflected in the often far higher auto insurance rates that drivers of these cars pay. But it’s also worth remembering that these cars are safer than they’ve ever been. And with safe driving practices, they don’t have to be any more dangerous than a grocery getter.
If you’re looking for more car related information, make sure to check out some of our other articles!