5 Ways to Increase Your Insurance Premium

Ever wonder what happens when Wall Street analysts and commentators get together to crunch numbers on vehicle quality and safety? You get lots of juicy data on the most dangerous vehicles being sold off America's car lots. The website 24/7 Wall St. recently compiled data from the industry's leading crash safety tests — including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and quality ratings from Consumer Reports and J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study — to produce a definitive list of the most dangerous cars in America. Here are the top (or rather, bottom) five:

  1. Dodge Ram 1500. The usual adage that bigger is better falls terribly short when it comes to the Dodge Ram. The vehicle has been plagued by consistently poor scores in IIHS safety testing, particularly in rollover and side impact testing. Perhaps a bigger mystery as to why Dodge hasn't been able to improve its crash ratings is how it has managed to produce solid sales numbers for years. From 2007 to 2011, the Ram 1500 sold more than 100,000 trucks each year.
  2. Chevrolet Colorado Crew Cab. This rolling disaster, which also shares the GMC Canyon nameplate, suffers from below-average safety ratings from the IIHS, and recently fell victim to a substantial safety belt recall in November 2011. Additionally, the vehicle scored lower in quality ratings than other vehicles in its class, earning only a 3 out of 5 in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study.
  3. Mazda CX-7. While the CX-7 boasted stylish lines and potent engine options, the vehicle was plagued by low scores in rollover and rear-impact crash testing. But despite all of this, sales for the vehicle increased substantially from 2009 to 2011.
  4. Mazda CX-9. Just like its smaller sibling, the CX-9 suffered from "marginal" IIHS crash test scores in both rollover and rear-impact testing. Additionally, the IIHS reported that the vehicle had the lowest strength-to-weight ratio of all midsize SUVs tested. However, much like the CX-7, sales have been on the rise from 2007 to 2011.
  5. Nissan Pathfinder. The Pathfinder, which has been its current configuration since 2005 (receiving only minor updates during its current production run) earned marginal ratings in rollover and rear-impact testing from the IIHS. The NHTSA also faulted the vehicle for registering an estimated 20% to 30% risk of vehicle rollover during evasive cornering maneuvers. The vehicle earned a score of only 3 out of 5 in J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study.

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