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Study: No Added Crash Risk for Convertibles 

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June 30, 2020—While convertibles have long had a reputation as being dangerous, recent crash statistics tell a different story, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 

A new IIHS study shows that, despite the "relatively flimsy appearance of their roof structures," late-model convertibles are no riskier than nonconvertibles, based on analysis of crash and fatality rates. In fact, both crash rates and driver death rates were lower for convertibles than for nonconvertible versions of the same cars. However, the differences in driver death rates weren't statistically significant. 

Rates of driver deaths and police-reported crashes per miles traveled for convertibles and nonconvertible versions of 1-5-year-old models during 2014-18 were compared. Data on drivers killed in crashes came from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

It was discovered that convertibles were involved in 6 percent fewer police-reported crashes per miles traveled than their conventional counterparts. Driver death rates were 11 percent lower. However, of course, the likelihood that the driver was ejected from the vehicle in the event of a fatal crash was higher for convertibles. 

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