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Compact cars, SUVs have highest fatality rates by vehicle type

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Compact cars may save on gas, but the government says they also have the highest fatality rate.

A report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says compacts have a rate of slightly more than 17-3/4 deaths per 100,000 vehicles in 2004.

Compact pickup trucks were second, with nearly 16.9 deaths per 100,000 vehicles. Pickup trucks and SUVs had rates of about 15 deaths. Large vans had the lowest rate: about 9-1/3 per 100,000 vehicles.

The study of fatality data from 1997 to 2004 reaffirmed past studies that found small, light vehicles have higher death rates than bigger ones.

But mid-size sport utility vehicles had the highest death rate in rollover crashes.
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