By Julie Watts

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Everyday about 100 people are killed in an auto accidents.

A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the better the economy, the more traffic deaths.

However, your odds of surviving may largely depend on the size of your car.

Small cars are popular on Bay Area roadways, boasting good gas mileage, and easy parking on city streets.

But as crash tests show, Mini Coopers and even small cars, come with serious safety drawbacks.

For instance, a Mercedes continues to move forward while a Smart car is thrown backwards in a crash.

Chuck Farmer, the vice president of research at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said, “If you are in a small car you have to realize that most of the cars around you are bigger … you are at a very big weight disadvantage, that’s the physics of it.”

When looking at specific categories, four-door mini cars have the highest death rate while large luxury SUV’s have the lowest.

Overall, minivans have the lowest death rate.

Cars have the highest, with 39 for every million cars on the road.

And Farmer says the number of crash deaths rise as the economy improves.

The study found road deaths have been trending downward since 1970, with a huge drop when the economy tanked in 2008.

But in 2015, deaths began to increase again.

IIHS notes a stronger economy fuels more driving, leading to an increase in deadly crashes.

They predict crash deaths will fall again and note the increasing autonomous cars and crash avoidance technology will help.

But when it comes to small cars, improved safety designs and technology can only do so much.

  1. Full size ’97 GMC Suburban for me.. More for fuel, but worth the extra cost for safety…

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