In the pre-hybrid era, higher fuel efficiency often meant smaller, lighter cars and higher injury probability in a crash. Better fuel economy linked to less safety. Not anymore.
The Highway Loss Data Institute calculates that the odds of being hurt in a hybrid during a crash is 25% less than if one is in a non-hybrid. www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2011/2011-12-19-091.html. Why?
Weight is the answer. Hybrids are 10% heavier on average as a result of the battery backs. That works out to about 300 to 500 pounds more for the hybrids. The bigger mass is protective during a crash.
Hybrids provide better fuel economy and better crash protection. The wonder of technological advances.