When you think of a dangerous car, are you thinking the General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazard?" or maybe you imagine sitting behind "Knight Riders" Kitt? Well, we're not talking fantasy-land TV here. We're talking about real cars and real dangers. Yep, these are cars that have had a history of bad behavior from poor designs to cost-savings at the risk of safety and also, plain old engineering mistakes.
In fact, if you first learned to drive before the 1970s, you more than likely were well aware of the injuries and deaths that were produced from these vehicles, if you weren't a victim yourself. Engineering safety and safety regulations have come a long way, but only in the last couple decades that behavior became the primary concern on the road. Before that, well... imagine if your car just caught on fire. Do you know which 1970s Ford was notorious for catching on fire? Or, do you know why Jeep Wranglers had infamously poor side-impact ratings?
You might think that dangerous cars are a thing of the past, but how about the Toyota Yaris and its high number of injury claims or even the popular Ford Mustang, which is still considered one of the most dangerous cars on the road? From driver behavior to just poor design, some cars are inherently more dangerous than others.
So, chug a cup of coffee, adjust your mirrors, look both ways and take this quiz to find out how much you know about the most dangerous cars on the road.
More than 1.5 million were recalled and negative publicity scorched the company.
Overseas manufacturers were slowly but surely eating into domestic car makers' profits; safety suffered as a result of cost-cutting measures.
It also gained notoriety for releasing potentially toxic fumes into the cabin.
Instead, the company weighed potential injury and damage lawsuit figures versus the repair and opted not to make the Pinto safer.
To that date, it was the largest product liability award ever; the amount was later dropped to $6 million.
The car's funky suspension meant you needed different pressure for front and rear tires; neglecting this part could kill you.
The car's relatively cheap price tag and rear-wheel drive puts it in the hands of many people who can't control the power.
Simple physics mean that tiny cars fare worse, especially when they strike large vehicles.
The removable doors might offer a sense of freedom, but they also leave riders exposed during accidents.
The company has since issued payments for more than 100 deaths related to the flaw.
In some cases, the engine would simply turn off, leaving drivers in a panic.
Big businesses tried to silence Nader when they realized that his concerns were making headway in the public consciousness.
Oversteer was a major problem, meaning even experienced drivers could send this one off of the road or into traffic.
It was a safer design but the less responsive steering irked aggressive drivers.
The fabric-reinforced plastic was probably not the best material to protect people in a crash.
Faulty connecting rods caused more than 100 fires, some of which happened during operation.
And even though it was small and light, the car actually had great crash safety ratings.
In order to open the hydraulic gullwing doors, you first had to pull a pin and then force them open.
Modern safety features are statistically proven to be much safer than those found in older vehicles.
The car's small size and light weight are partially blamed for the vehicle's higher-than-average death rate.
The early days of the automobile were not exactly known for consumer safety.
Steel body panels on the fiberglass frame made this car a death trap in crashes.
Bridgestone/Firestone eventually recalled more than 6 million tires for safety reasons.
Later, it was revealed the magazine actually made the problem seem much worse than it was.
Suzuki filed a lawsuit that was settled out of court.
The tiny windows meant you'd have serious difficult escaping a wrecked DMC-12.
However, authorities decided that a recall probably wasn't necessary.
Yet Ford was not publicly scorned in the same manner as Suzuki.
So if you managed to stop the vehicle from rolling over, you actually were fairly safe.
Low oil resulted in some engine meltdowns, which then led to fires.