Does a large vehicle = safety?
During the first oil crisis automobiles began showing a shrinking trend. One of the first complaints among these "tin cans" was that smaller vehicles are less safe. While smaller cars clearly gave better fuel economy there was also little question that small vehicles were more vulnerable on the roads. In the last three decades vehicles have continued the miniaturization trend as compact cars are now common sights.
Truth in the Debate
Despite reassurance by the automotive industry larger vehicles are generally safer than small vehicles. A large sedan will generally come out with less injuries than a compact. Of course this presents the main issue, as vehicles get larger they get safer, except for to other vehicles. Heavy vehicles are more dangerous to smaller cars. As the average weight of vehicles goes down so does the number of fatalities on the road, but larger vehicles become even more destructive.
Two large vehicles are more dangerous to their own drivers than other large vehicles.
The first is the pickup truck. Pickup trucks have several advantages over other vehicle types. Carrying capacity being the obvious advantage it is important not to forget the visibility advantage as well as towing capabilities trucks are capable of delivering. The main disadvantage is stability. During high-speed driving trucks have repeatedly proven dangerous in cases of blowouts or situations that result in loss of control. Trucks tend to flip.
The other vehicle is certain SUVs. These behemoths of the road are tank like and particularly large one's are the standard military vehicle of the US military. Despite SUVs incredible ability to take a bruising the reality is that in accident situations roll overs do occur. This is why one must exercise particular caution when interstate driving with an SUV.
The Best Vehicle
The best vehicle is whatever one you drive smartly. In the end most accidents are bad driving related and avoidable. In general accidents rarely occur that are due to mechanical defects. As most accidents are at reasonable speeds, many of the large vehicles safety advantages are lost due to risk of roll over. This is why a comfortable vehicle is most important.