Car Models With the Most Accidents in 2021

Two men discussing after a minor car accident.

Certain cars attract more accident-prone drivers, but they might not be the models you expect. 

Car accidents are some of the most grave and serious incidents to occur on the road. Unfortunately, car crashes have become significantly more common over the past year. According to data from the National Safety Council, fatal accidents per mile driven were up 26 percent in spring of 2021 when compared to just two years earlier, even while Americans drove a similar number of total miles.

Given America’s increasingly hazardous driving environment, motor vehicle accidents are inevitable. Even the best drivers are liable to make the occasional mistake, but some motorists are more prone to slip-ups than others. As it turns out, these drivers are partial to certain car models, too. 

Curious to see which cars caused the greatest percentage of crashes, the data science team at Insurify turned to their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to identify the car models with the most accident-prone drivers in 2021. 

Bar graph depicting the 10 car models with the most accidents in 2021.

 

Insights

  • National averages. Across the nation, 10.78 percent of drivers report having caused a motor vehicle accident within the past seven years. Additionally, 6.68 percent of drivers report having been involved in a no-fault crash. There’s good news, however: in 2019, USNews reported that most car models are rated “Good” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)—the institute’s highest rating—as safety technology keeps improving to meet rising industry standards. The average price of a new car was $41,729 in 2021. 
  • Too hot to handle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, sports cars dominate the list of top car models with the most at-fault accidents, taking five of the top ten spots and sweeping the top four. Combined, 15.44 percent of drivers of these five sports cars report an at-fault accident on record, a full 43 percent more than the national average.
  • An accident-magnet model. Not only does the Lexus CT land among the top ten car models with the most at-fault accidents, its drivers also get involved in no-fault crashes at the highest rate in the nation. 11.62 percent of CT drivers report a no-fault accident on record within the past seven years, a share that’s 69 percent greater than the national average. Though motor vehicle crashes are always incredibly serious, CT drivers do have the benefit of riding in one of the safest vehicles in the country, according to the IIHS.
  • Protecting the (luxury) goods. While sporty cars dominate the top ten most accident-prone models, luxury vehicles—even sporty ones like BMWs and Audis—are among the models with the lowest crash rates in the country. Drivers of the Audi A4, the Tesla Model Y, the Lincoln Navigator, and the Porsche 911 all cause accidents at bottom-ten rates, doing so a combined 38 percent less often than the national average.

Methodology

Data scientists at Insurify, a website to compare auto insurance rates, examined their database of over 4 million car insurance applications to identify the car models with the most accidents. 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 within 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 ten models with the highest shares of accident-prone drivers. 

Safety ratings come from the most recent IIHS evaluations for each model. The IIHS determines vehicle safety status by looking at both how well each vehicle protects its occupants in a crash and how well each vehicle’s technology prevents crashes or lessens their severity. A model can earn an overall safety rating of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor. 

Each car’s MSRP comes from the most recent available model listed on Autoblog, and the average cost of a new car in 2021 comes from Cox Automotive’s July vehicle price data. 

Car Models With the Most Accidents in 2021

10. Hyundai Ioniq

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 14.45%
  • MSRP (base model): $23,600
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Unlike many of the sporty cars that land higher up on this list, the Ioniq’s reputation is defined by its practicality. As a compact-size hybrid with an accessible price, the Ioniq is perfect for drivers concerned about both the environment and their wallet. These drivers are also, however, prone to the occasional slip-up behind the wheel, as evidenced by the Ioniq’s 14.45 percent accident rate—a rate over 34 percent greater than the national average.  

9. Lexus CT

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 14.57%
  • MSRP (base model): $31,250 
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

With a hybrid engine and a starting price over $30,000, the CT certainly lives up to its billing as a luxury hatchback. It’s a good thing that the CT was also an IIHS Top Safety Pick in 2017, the last year of its release, since its drivers are 35 percent more accident-prone than the average motorist. While the CT received top marks for protecting its occupants in a crash (the only blemish on its record came from poor headlight performance), this vehicle’s drivers score less-than-perfectly when it comes to safe driving practices. 

8. Toyota Prius V

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 14.72%
  • MSRP (base model): $26,675 
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

The Prius V is the third hybrid among the ten car models with the most accidents. Stereotyped as attracting well-mannered owners not known for reckless behavior behind the wheel, these hybrids nonetheless have drivers that are more accident-prone than the average motorist. 14.72 percent of Prius V drivers report an at-fault accident on record, a rate that’s 37 percent higher than the national average.  

7. Mazda CX-3

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 14.90%
  • MSRP (base model): $20,790 
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Priced just around $20,000, the Mazda CX-3 is one of the most accessible subcompact SUVs on the market. Critics laud the CX-3 for its stylish design, but getting distracted by how good they look on the road might be a problem for some CX-3 drivers, as 14.90 percent of them have an at-fault accident on record. That share is 38 percent higher than average, and it places the CX-3 seventh on the list of the most accident-prone car models in the nation.  

6. Infiniti Q60

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 14.93%
  • MSRP (base model): $41,750
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Nissan’s Infiniti lineup has produced quality, high-end cars for decades, and the Q60 is undoubtedly a fine—and fast—piece of machinery. It appears that Q60 drivers, however, let the model’s 300-hp engine get out of control a little too often. With 14.93 percent of Q60 drivers having caused an at-fault accident in the prior seven years, the Q60 has the sixth-highest accident rate in the country. Hopefully drivers who can afford the Q60’s steep price tag can also cover the repair costs and insurance premium hikes that inevitably follow a motor vehicle accident.

5. Subaru Impreza

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 15.10%
  • MSRP (base model): $18,795
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

The Impreza offers drivers the high standards of safety and reliability typically associated with the Subaru brand, and it has the most affordable MSRP among the top ten car models with the most accidents. As an IIHS Top Safety Pick, the Impreza is also one of the safest cars on the road, and its optional crash-prevention systems earned a superior rating from the institute. Even these top-of-the-line safety features, however, are not enough to prevent Impreza drivers from causing accidents at a rate 40 percent higher than the national average.

4. Hyundai Genesis Coupe

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 15.29%
  • MSRP (base model): $26,950 
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

Though Hyundai discontinued the Genesis Coupe in 2016, the model is still making its presence felt on the roads. 15.29 percent of Genesis Coupe drivers report an at-fault accident on record, a share that’s 42 percent higher than the national average. Pairing a nearly-350-horsepower engine with a sub-$30,000 price tag, the model appeals to drivers with a need for speed. It just so happens that these drivers are a tad more accident-prone than the average motorist, too. 

3. Subaru WRX

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 15.44%
  • MSRP (base model): $27,495
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

For better or worse, owning the Subaru WRX comes with a certain reputation. WRX drivers are known for racking up speeding tickets and reckless driving violations, so it should come as no surprise that they also cause more than their fair share of accidents—43 percent more than average, to be precise. True to the Subaru brand, the WRX is still an IIHS Top Safety Pick, even if its drivers don’t always exhibit the safest behavior on the roads. 

2. Kia Stinger

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 15.75%
  • MSRP (base model): $36,090
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Good

The Kia Stinger is a powerful, stylish sports sedan for drivers seeking to capture the look and feel of a German sports car on a (relatively) affordable budget. The Stinger’s 300-hp turbocharged engine certainly packs a punch, though it may also encourage drivers to drift too far beyond their comfort zone. Stinger drivers are the second most-accident prone motorists on the road; they report causing vehicle crashes 46 percent more often than the average driver.

1. Scion FR-S

  • Share of drivers with a prior at-fault accident on record: 15.87%
  • MSRP (base model): $25,305 
  • IIHS overall safety evaluation: Acceptable

Topping the list of the car models with the most accidents is the Scion FR-S, whose drivers report at-fault accidents 47 percent more often than the average motorist. Though Toyota discontinued the Scion model in 2016, the company originally  marketed the brand for a younger demographic by emphasizing its sporty performance and accessible price. Given FR-S drivers’ 15.87 percent at-fault accident rate, it’s very possible the model still attracts younger drivers whose inexperience leads to more motor vehicle accidents. While the FR-S garners an acceptable overall safety rating from the IIHS, it remains the lowest-rated vehicle in regards to safety among the top ten car models with the most accidents. 

If you have any questions or comments about this article or would like to request the data, please contact insights@insurify.com.

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