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DETROIT (Reuters) - The two-door Chevrolet Blazer from General Motors Corp. has the highest driver death rate of any passenger vehicle on U.S. roadways, a research group with links to the insurance industry said on Tuesday.



The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (news - web sites) based that conclusion, and its embarrassing result for the world's largest automaker, on an extensive study of passenger vehicles from the 1999-2002 model years.


The study focused on the rate of driver deaths in various types of crashes, including both single- and multiple-vehicle accidents.


The overall driver death rate, for 199 models studied during the 2000-2003 calendar years, was 87 per million registered vehicles annually, the Insurance Institute said.


Weighing in at more than three times the overall rate, the Insurance Institute said the two-door, two-wheel-drive Blazer -- a midsize sport utility vehicle -- had an average of 308 driver deaths per million.


The Blazer also had the highest rate of driver deaths in rollover accidents at 251 per million.


Highlighting a longstanding trend, the Insurance Institute said "large cars and minivans dominate among vehicle models with very low death rates." Models with the highest rates are "mostly small cars and small and midsize SUVs," it said


Bucking the trend, however, the Insurance Institute said the small-sized Toyota RAV4 SUV from Toyota Motor Corp. (news - web sites) ranked among vehicles with the lowest average driver death rate.


Vehicles with the lowest overall rate of driver deaths were led by the large Mercedes E-Class luxury sedan from DaimlerChrysler, at 10 per million, according to the Insurance Institute.


That was followed by the Toyota 4Runner midsize SUV, with an overall driver death rate of 12, the four-door midsize Passat from Volkswagen, with 16 deaths, Toyota's Lexus RX 300 midsize SUV, at 17, and RAV4 with 18.


In addition to the Blazer, vehicles with the highest driver death rates were led by the Mitsubishi Mirage, a two-door, small-sized car from Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (news - web sites), GM's Pontiac Firebird sports car, the subcompact Kia Rio from Kia Motors Corp. and the two-wheel-drive Kia Sportage compact SUV.


Driver death rates for those vehicles came in at 209, 205, 200 and 197, respectively.


GM has already halted full-scale production of the two-door Blazer and the vehicle, one of the oldest in the company's lineup, is due to be phased out entirely next month.


Without commenting specifically on the SUV, a company spokesman defended GM's safety record and questioned the usefulness of the Insurance Institute's study.


"GM designs crashworthiness and crash avoidance attributes into all of our vehicles and conducts a battery of tests that replicate an array of potential real-world crashes as part of our commitment to safety before, during and after a crash," GM spokesman Alan Adler said in a statement.


"It is impossible looking at these statistics to know what role driver behavior, such as drunk driving and driving without a safety belt, played in these deaths. We know from decades of work that whether a driver dies in a crash has more to do with behavior than with the vehicle."
Seeing as how this is the Automotive News and Rumors thread, I thought I would start puting some non G6 related stuf in here. I'm not sure if I really believe that the Blazer is as bad as it seems in this article.
 

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I don't believe in these type of things ... I have a 2-door Blazer and I would put it's degree of safety up against almost any SIMILAR vehicle out there and even though I have had some problems with mine, I will be said to see it go ... I for one, do not care for ANY of GMs line up when it comes to 4x4 SUVs or trucks so my next purchase for this type of vehicle will undoubtedly come from Ford :)
 

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Before I got my G6 my previous vehicles were a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1997 Explorer that I took off road frequently. One time off roading I saw a 2000 Blazer hit a parked 1999 Explorer head on at about 40 mph. The Blazer driver died on impact. The X driver/passanger, not a scratch.

 

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Explr1 said:
Before I got my G6 my previous vehicles were a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 1997 Explorer that I took off road frequently. One time off roading I saw a 2000 Blazer hit a parked 1999 Explorer head on at about 40 mph. The Blazer driver died on impact. The X driver/passanger, not a scratch.

It is like the quote you win some and you loose some. Not every crash you see will have the same effect. Also the blazer will have more force because it was moving in the first place. Newtons laws of gravity explain this very well.
 

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RyanB said:
It is like the quote you win some and you loose some. Not every crash you see will have the same effect. Also the blazer will have more force because it was moving in the first place. Newtons laws of gravity explain this very well.
True, but the moving blazer had all of the stored energy and force. The X absorbed it all due to it being stationary. Take a matchbox car and place it in the center of the room. This would represent the X. Now take another car and ram it into the the non moving one and you will understand, force = mass X acceleration.
 
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