People who invest in hybrid cars are significantly less likely to be injured in an accident because heavy batteries under the hood make the vehicles safer than a traditional car, an insurance industry study found.

The average hybrid is 10 percent heavier than a traditional car of the same size, and the extra heft reduces the odds of being hurt in a crash by 25 percent, the report says.

“Saving at the pump no longer means you have to skimp on crash protection,” said Matt Moore, vice president of the Highway Loss Data Institute and author of the report.

The first generations of hybrids generally were smaller, lighter vehicles than those produced more recently. With manufacturers increasingly converting a portion of some traditionally powered car models to hybrids, the hybrid versions are heavier.

For example, a Honda Accord takes on about 480 pounds when transformed into a hybrid.

The institute gathered data on 25 models that are produced both as traditional and hybrid vehicles, all 2003-2011 models, that had been in at least one accident that resulted in an injury claim. The Toyota Prius and Honda Insight were excluded because they are only sold as hybrids.


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