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The country's most dangerous cars

It is always a good idea to drive defensively. Distracted, drugged and reckless drivers are all too common on Connecticut's roads. Driving the speed limit and being aware of your surroundings can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe.

Unfortunately, defensive driving cannot prevent all accidents. When another motorist is driving negligently or recklessly, accidents happen. When they do, it is important to drive in as safe a vehicle as possible to minimize injury.

IIHS safety ratings released

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released data on the safest and deadliest cars currently on the road.

Cars that are safest are, unsurprisingly, generally large. SUVs, large luxury sedans and vans have a greater ability to prevent fatalities than their smaller counterparts.

Beware the hatchback and smaller cars

Of the 20 deadliest cars in the U.S., five are hatchbacks. The others make up convertibles, two-door sedans and smaller four-door sedans, although there are some exceptions.

Quite a few auto manufacturers made the list for both domestic and imported vehicles. The deadliest vehicle, as ranked by fatalities per million registered vehicles, was the Hyundai Accent, a mini four-door car. There were 104 fatalities per million vehicles as of 2017.

Safety has still increased

While there are safety concerns with any vehicle, it is comforting to note that cars are still safer today than they were in previous generations. Those older model cars, while large and full of Detroit steel, still were unsafe by today's standards.

And many manufacturers are increasing safety precautions, including automatic braking systems (ABS), rear cameras and other technological advances.

Unfortunately, cost can be a factor, and not everyone can afford a larger car, particularly considering the extra gas consumption.

If possible, however, there are ways to minimize risk even within a budget. It is our hope that as cars continue to get safer, the fewer families will be devastated by preventable accidents.

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