The study looked at large-sales volume vehicles between the 2008 and 2011 model years, found that the four-door versions of Kia Rio, Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent had the highest rates of driver deaths per million registered vehicles. For the Rio, for instance, it was 149 deaths over the study period, 2009 to 2012.
"The highest death rates are in the smallest, lightest vehicles," he says, once again showing that the greater mass makes a difference in the physics of a crash. "It's Packaging 101: If the occupant compartment stays intact, the seat belts and air bags can do their jobs."
There were also a few non-compact cars in the top 10: The Chevrolet Camaro sporty car and the Chevrolet Silverado crew cab pickup.
The study took into account that some models have disproportionately high rates of young, male drivers -- the riskiest group -- and tried to compensate. Also, some of these cars are the most common cars on the road. Still, the science behind, small car and danger is something to consider when purchasing your next car.
You can go on the IIHS website and check out how your car fared: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings
The list of the models with the highest death rates, and the number of deaths over the study period:
1. Kia Rio four-door, 149
2. Nissan Versa, 130
3. Hyundai Accent four-door, 120
4. Chevrolet Aveo, 99
5. Hyundai Accent two-door, 86
6. Chevrolet Camaro, 80
7. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew, 79
8. Honda Civic, 76
9. Nissan Versa hatchback, 71
10. Ford Focus, 70