|2011 Chevy Volt|
Joe Nolan, the institute's chief administration officer said "the level of safety for the Volt and Leaf is as high as any of our other top crash test performers," The institute categorizes the Leaf and Volt as small cars with the length, width, and passenger capacity of larger cars. One reason for the high safety rating is that both vehicles have heavy battery packs that serve to stabilize the vehicles and give the cars the same weight as midsize and larger vehicles. Sturdier heavier cars are able to withstand crashes much better than their smaller lighter counterparts.
Nolan also added "The Leaf and Volt's extra mass gives them a safety advantage over other small cars, these electric models are a win-win for fuel economy and safety."
More at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.