Although the chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than one-third in three years, the gap between the safest and riskiest models remains wide, according to a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Among 2011 models—the most recent year included in the study—three cars have death rates of more than 100 per million registered vehicles, while a record nine vehicles have driver death rates of zero.

IIHS researchers attribute much of the continuing decline in fatality risk to improved vehicle designs and safety technology. [Related story: 3 ways cars are getting safer.] Among the 2011 models, there were 28 driver deaths per million registered vehicle years through the 2012 calendar year, down from 48 for 2008 models through calendar year 2009. IIHS defines a registered vehicle year as one vehicle registered for one year.

Here is the countdown of the 10 vehicles with the highest death rates among the 2011 models, with the type of vehicle and number of deaths per million registered vehicles.

10. Ford Focus, four-door, small car (70)

2011 Ford Focus, red, 4 door

(Photo: Gyuszko-Photo /

9. Nissan Versa hatchback, four-door small car (71)

2011 Nissan Versa

(Photo: Zoran Karapancev/


8. Honda Civic, two-door small car (76)

(Photo: Zoran Karapancev/


7. Chevrolet Silverado, 1500 Crew 4-wheel drive, a pickup truck, in the large vehicle category (79)

2011 Chevy Silverado, black

(Photo: Ritu Manoj Jethani/


6. Chevrolet Camaro coupe, a sports car that also is in the large vehicle category (80)

2011 Chevy Camaro, yellow

(Photo: DDCoral/

5. Hyundai Accent, a two-door minicar (86)



2011 Hyundai Accent, black

(Photo: Naiyyer/

4. Chevrolet Aveo, a four-door minicar (99)

2011 Chevy Aveo, red

(Photo: DDCoral/

3. Hyundai Accent, a four-door minicar (120)

2011 Hyundai Accent, silver, 4 door

(Photo: DDCoral/

The four-door Accent is the first of three vehicles with more than 100 driver deaths per million registered, marginally ahead of the two-door model.

2. Nissan Versa sedan, four-door small car (130)

2011 Nissan Versa, black

(Photo: Ed Aldridge/

 Althought both the Versa sedan and hatchback rank in the top 10, the four-door sedan is more dangerous for drivers than the four-door hatchback.


1. The Kia Rio, a four-door minicar (149)

2011 Kia Rio

(Photo: Ritu Manoj Jethani/

The Kia Rio, a four-door minicar, has the dubious distinction of the highest death rate among the 2011 models. It has 149 driver deaths thus far.

For more information about the report and the complete list of vehicles with the highest rates of driver deaths as well as the lowest, click here.