Large SUVs are less of a risk to smaller vehicles compared to 20 or 30 years ago, according to a new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Still, they are a threat.
The study noted newer SUVs and cars are more crash-compatible than they were in the 1990s when people in cars and minivans were far more likely to die in accidents involving SUVs than in collisions with other cars or minivans. Researchers cited:
- Stronger structures and side airbags in cars and minivans
- Design changes in SUVs, including lower front ends that align better with car frames that absorb energy during collisions
Even so, the fatality rate for car drivers killed in crashes with newer SUVs from 2013-16 was 28 percent higher than the rate in other accidents. In other words, SUVs still present a danger to smaller vehicles.
Pickups and SUVs still pose a threat
The study found pickup trucks continue to pose a danger to occupants of smaller vehicles during crashes, too. The fatality rate among car and minivan drivers involved in crashes with pickups from 2013-16 was 2½ times higher than when the smaller vehicles were involved in crashes.
The main problem? Weight differences. While improved safety technology offers some hope, smaller cars are simply at a disadvantage when involved in an accident with heavier pickup trucks.
"Reducing the weight of the heaviest vehicles for better fuel economy — for example, by switching from steel to aluminum — can improve safety for other road users without sacrificing occupant protection,” said Joe Nolan, IIHS senior vice president for vehicle research.
Legal Help Available for Victims of Car Accidents
If you have been involved in a crash in Orange County, California, you are facing a multitude of stressful issues. You may be unable to work as you recover from your injuries, meaning you cannot pay your bills or support your family. Trying to maneuver through legal and medical issues is a complex, frustrating challenge. The other driver is probably blaming you for the accident. An insurance company is probably pressuring you into accepting an inadequate settlement offer because they know you are financially desperate.
Personal injury lawyer Dan Carlton, of the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton, has more than 40 years of experience handling cases like yours in Costa Mesa and throughout Orange County. He and his legal team have thorough knowledge about both the law and the local area.
We will work closely with you, providing professional and personable service while you focus on your health. Take control. Secure your future. Contact us today for a free case consultation.