In the past, when an SUV and a car collided, the occupants of the car were at a much greater risk of serious injury or death. One reason was that SUVs and pickup trucks had bumpers higher off the ground and would override the smaller vehicle in a collision.
A new study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that the fatality rate to people in cars in collisions with larger vehicles has been dropping due to the redesign of SUVs to align their front-end designs with other vehicles. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) built into SUVs have also made them more stable and less prone to crash.
At the same time SUVs and pickup trucks were made safer, passenger cars and minivans were also being improved with safety features such as side airbags and improved structural strength.
Starting in 2003, the major automobile manufacturers at the recommendation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration redesigned the front-end of pickup trucks and SUVs so that their energy-absorbing structures aligned with those of cars so that, in a collision, the larger vehicle would not override the car. This change along with side airbags and increased structural strength in cars and minivans has caused the fatality rate to drop from 44 deaths per million vehicles in 2000-2001 to 16 deaths per million vehicles in 2008-2009.
Many of the major automobile manufacturers participated in redesigning their SUVs and trucks including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Honda, BMW, Mazda, Volkswagen and Toyota.
This information is provided by Seattle car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Effort to make SUVs, pickups less deadly to car occupants in crashes is paying off
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