Crash Course: Car Models With the Most Accidents in 2023

Cassie Sheets
Written byCassie Sheets
Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsContent Writer
  • 9 years writing data-driven content

  • Lifestyle contributor to 30+ local news sites

Cassie Sheets has a background in home and garden and real estate content. At Insurify, she translates industry jargon into insights that empower insurance buyers.

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Tanveen Vohra
Edited byTanveen Vohra
Tanveen Vohra
Tanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
  • Property and casualty insurance specialist

  • 4+ years creating insurance content

Tanveen manages Insurify's data insights, annual home and auto insurance reports, and media communications. She’s regularly featured in media interviews on insurance topics.

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Published June 13, 2023 at 12:00 PM PDT

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We’d all rather avoid the jump in auto insurance rates, expensive repairs, and high-priced hospital bills that often come with collisions, but even defensive drivers find themselves in fender benders from time to time.

Unfortunately, the cost of some car accidents extends far beyond financial loss. Motor vehicle collisions accounted for 46,270 U.S. fatalities in 2022, according to preliminary data from the National Safety Council (NSC).

No matter which car you drive, smart safety practices, like staying alert, sticking to the speed limit, and using turn signals, can lower your risk of an auto accident.

To identify the 10 most accident-prone car models, the Insurify data science team turned to its database of more than 4.6 million car insurance applications. While several sports cars predictably made the list, some of the top models are surprising. Regardless of the make or model of your car, the best way to save on car insurance is by shopping around among different insurers.

The Insurify data science team also explored key safety features, driver behavior, and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluations to pinpoint possible reasons behind these cars’ high accident rates.

Insights

  • Accidents happen. In 2023, 7.6% of U.S. drivers were involved in at least one at-fault accident in the prior seven years. For drivers of cars on this list, the average at-fault accident rate was 10.5%, meaning these drivers are 1.4 times as likely to have an at-fault accident on record.

  • Crashes are costly. The annual economic cost of motor vehicle crashes totals nearly $340 billion, based on the latest findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Drivers involved in at-fault accidents also pay an average of 26% more for their car insurance than the average driver.

  • A luxury car topped the list. You might expect someone driving an expensive car to tightly protect their prized asset, but the $51,900 Audi S4 topped the list of accident-prone cars. Notably, Audi S4 drivers also rack up more speeding tickets than the average driver, with 14.6% reporting a speeding violation on record in 2023.

  • Volvo lived up to its reliable reputation. The famously dependable Swedish brand manufactured three of the five least collision-prone models. A minuscule 0.9% of Volvo V70 drivers reported at-fault collisions — the fewest of the 573 car models Insurify analyzed.

  • What’s up with Subaru drivers? The brand has a reputation for attracting laid-back customers, but Subaru had the most representation in the top 10, with three models. Though backcountry driving may come to mind when you think of Subaru, the manufacturer’s lineup includes turbocharged sports cars, too.

Top 10 car models with the most car accidents

These collision-prone cars significantly exceeded the national average rate for at-fault accidents.

10. Subaru Impreza

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.3%

  • MSRP (base model): $19,795

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Available as a compact sedan or hatchback, the Subaru Impreza landed in the final spot on the list, with 10.3% of drivers reporting an at-fault accident on record. Fortunately, the car boasts some impressive safety features to mitigate any damage.

Newer Impreza models offer driver-assisted technology that monitors traffic movement and warns if you veer out of your lane. A rear-vision camera reduces your risk of backup collisions, and all-wheel drive increases traction. The 2022–2023 Impreza even earned a spot on a more desirable list — the IIHS Top Safety Picks of 2022.

9. Kia Niro

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.4%

  • MSRP (base model): $26,590

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Popular as a midrange family car, the Kia Niro is a crossover SUV that offers plenty of legroom while keeping emissions low with electric vehicle (EV) and hybrid options.

While the Niro has blind-spot protection and lane-centering technology, all-wheel drive is noticeably absent. The NHTSA also recalled certain 2017 Niro cars due to issues with the electric power-steering connector.

That said, missing features and recalls likely aren’t the main reasons Kia Niro drivers got into more at-fault accidents. Instead, it could be due to most Kia Niro drivers being in urban areas, where EVs are more popular. Urban areas typically have higher accident rates than rural areas.

8. Chevrolet Silverado LD

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.4%

  • MSRP (base model): $34,500

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

With an at-fault accident rate 37% higher than the national average, the Chevrolet Silverado LD is the only truck that made the list. Silverado drivers could be getting into more collisions because they often rack up extra miles at work. The light-duty pickup is a popular choice for construction and landscaping businesses.

If you’re a cautious driver, you have no reason to avoid this IIHS-approved model. A suite of advanced safety features comes standard in the Silverado, including front pedestrian braking, a rear-vision camera, lane-departure warning, a following-distance display, and automatic high-beam headlights.

7. Subaru XV Crosstrek

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.5%

  • MSRP (base model): $21,595

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

As a compact SUV with light off-road capabilities, the Subaru XV Crosstrek is an appealing choice if you need a car that handles both a weekend camping trip and your daily commute. The Crosstrek’s 182-horsepower engine and high ground clearance appeal to adventurers.

The accident rate for drivers of this car is less attractive, at 38% higher than the national average. However, recent Crosstrek models have modern safety features, and driver-assisted technology identifies potential hazards that could help Crosstrek drivers lower their collision rates in the future.

6. Subaru WRX

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.7%

  • MSRP (base model): $29,605

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

The sporty WRX is the third Subaru model on the list. This rally-inspired car clearly appeals to thrill-seekers. Subaru WRX drivers are taking full advantage of the 271-horsepower engine, with 13.6% reporting a speeding citation. They’re not always the best at owning up to their accidents, either. Subaru WRX drivers made the Insurify list of models with the most hit-and-runs in 2022.

Still, the WRX has a good balance of performance and safety features and was a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick+. The car also earned top marks for crash avoidance and mitigation, suggesting user error may largely influence its high accident rate.

5. Toyota GR86

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.8%

  • MSRP (base model): $29,900

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Toyota GR86 drivers have an at-fault accident rate 42% higher than the national average, placing the car midway through the list. Billed as an accessible hot rod, the sleek and speedy model appeals to drivers looking for razor-sharp handling backed by a turbocharged 228-horsepower engine.

This sports car isn’t only about performance, though. Toyota GR86 drivers may be more accident-prone, but the model offers numerous safety features, including a pre-collision braking system, lane-departure warning, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. The IIHS even named the 20222023 Toyota GR86 a Top Safety Pick+.

4. Hyundai Veloster N

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 10.9%

  • MSRP (base model): $32,500

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

The now-discontinued Hyundai Veloster N had a niche but loyal following of motorists who loved the unique three-door layout and impressive 275-horsepower engine. With sports-tuned suspension and precise steering designed for a thrilling ride, it’s somewhat unsurprising that drivers of this high-performance sports hatchback got into at-fault accidents 43% more often than the national average.

While Veloster N drivers are more collision-prone than average, the car boasts an impressive set of safety features to minimize any impact. An advanced airbag system protects drivers, and the antilock braking, traction control, and electronic stability systems make for a smoother ride in challenging conditions.

3. Chevrolet Volt

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 11.0%

  • MSRP (base model): $33,520

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

When the Chevrolet Volt debuted in 2011, it was one of the first plug-in hybrid cars on the road. While more advanced EV technology eventually usurped the model, the Volt was a stepping stone to full electrics in an era of unaffordable lithium-ion batteries, according to then-GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz in an interview with CBS News.

Chevrolet discontinued the Volt in 2019, but drivers of this compact car still have the third-most at-fault accidents on record in 2023. Before its discontinuation, the 2017 and 2018 models earned recognition as IIHS Top Safety Picks. The Volt didn’t make the list in its final year despite a “Good” overall rating.

2. Scion iA

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 11.5%

  • MSRP (base model): $15,700

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Toyota discontinued Scion in 2016, but before it stopped production, the brand developed a reputation for affordability, unique designs, and modern technology that attracted younger drivers. Despite having fewer performance features than other models in the top 10, the accessible Scion iA placed second on the list.

While this subcompact car’s acceleration is sluggish, and the engine reaches a meager 106 horsepower, the fun-to-drive Scion iA has a lightweight body and Mazda engineering that gives the model a sporty feeling.

1. Audi S4

  • Percentage of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 11.7%

  • MSRP (base model): $51,900

  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Audi is likely one of your top choices if you’re looking for a high-performance luxury vehicle. Unfortunately, Audi S4 drivers are the most likely to be involved in an at-fault accident. With a robust V6 engine that surges to 349 horsepower, it’s not a surprise Audi S4 drivers also made the Insurify list of car brands with the most speeding tickets.

In addition to its sleek design and impressive performance, the Audi S4 offers robust safety features. Despite forward-collision detection, auto emergency braking, and lane-departure warning, S4 drivers get into accidents at a rate 54% higher than the national average.

Methodology

Data scientists at Insurify examined their database of more than 4.6 million car insurance applications to identify the car models with the most accidents in 2023. When applying for quotes, drivers input information, including the make and model of their primary vehicle as well as any accidents they may have caused in the prior seven years.

The data science team analyzed the number of drivers of each vehicle model reporting an at-fault accident on record against the total number of drivers of that model to determine the proportion of drivers with at least one prior accident on record. From there, the team selected the 10 models with the highest shares of accident-prone drivers.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for each model is via Autoblog.

Conclusion

When it comes to reducing your risk of car accidents, behavior seems to matter more than the type of vehicle you drive. The most accident-prone models of 2023 contained a mix of luxury and economy vehicles as well as foreign and domestic manufacturers.

Though high-performance models dominated the top five, some cars featured in the top 10 were family-friendly vehicles with modest horsepower. There is overlap with the Insurify list of brands with the most speeding tickets specifically Audi, Hyundai, Subaru, Kia, and Scion cars.

While many careful motorists drive sports cars and luxury vehicles, those drivers could still face higher insurance rates than people who drive affordable sedans. That said, insurers also look for robust safety features when considering your rate, and every car on this crash-prone list achieved a “Good” overall IIHS evaluation.

If you want to lower your insurance rate and your chances of an at-fault accident, you don’t necessarily need to sacrifice performance. Instead, look for smart safety features, follow the rules of the road, and enjoy the ride.

Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsContent Writer

Cassie Sheets has more than nine years of experience creating compelling content for clients, brands, and local news sites. She started her career at Movoto Real Estate, where she transformed dry data into interesting insights for potential homebuyers. She’s since covered a wide range of topics, from pop culture news to home and garden trends.

Before joining Insurify, Cassie wrote engaging landing pages and blog posts for medical practices at MyAdvice. Now, she uses her knack for diving into the latest data and pulling out key details to empower insurance buyers.

Cassie holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. In her free time, you can find her exploring the city with her dog, trying not to fall over in yoga classes, and petting cats at the shelter.

Tanveen Vohra
Edited byTanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
Tanveen Vohra
Tanveen VohraManager of Content and Communications
  • Property and casualty insurance specialist

  • 4+ years creating insurance content

Tanveen manages Insurify's data insights, annual home and auto insurance reports, and media communications. She’s regularly featured in media interviews on insurance topics.

Featured in

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