SUVs Not As Deadly Anymore

October 18th, 2011
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Black Nissan SUV

A new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has stated that SUVs and pickups aren’t as deadly to passengers of cars and minivans when involved in an automobile accident as they used to be.

Reportedly, between 2000 and 2001, SUVs weighing 3,000 – 3,499 pounds that were involved in car crashes with cars and minivans had 44 deaths per million registered vehicles. Fortunately, by the end of the decade the rate had dropped by nearly two-thirds.

“Until recently, SUVs and pickups were more likely than cars or minivans of the same weight to be involved in crashes that killed occupants of other cars or minivans,” said the nonprofit research group in a statement Wednesday, September 28, 2011. “That’s no longer the case for SUVs, and for pickups the higher risk is much less pronounced than it had been.”

So what changed?

Later SUV models and pickups were designed with smaller vehicle impact in mind. The front ends have been aligned with the energy-absorbing structures of cars. Also, cars and minivans have also improved their crash protection with the addition of side airbags and stronger structures.

“By working together, the automakers got life-saving changes done quickly,” says Joe Nolan, the Institute’s chief administrative officer and a co-author of the new study. “The new designs have made a big difference on the road.”

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