In 2010, the weight of an average new car was 4,009 pounds. That is significantly heavier than the "modern" cars two decades earlier, which weighed an average of 3,221 pounds.
The increased weight is largely due to more powerful and efficient engines. In addition, cars tend to have better seats, more safety features and additional legroom, all of which increase vehicular weight. In general, heavier cars burn less gas, which reduces the amount of pollution they emit when compared to older models. However, heavier cars do pose a danger to others. Being hit by one of these vehicles increases an individual's chance of dying in an accident by 47 percent.