SUVs are now rated safer than ever with new features and design decreasing the risks of a fatal SUV rollover accident in Miami and elsewhere throughout the United States.
According to USA Today, drivers of these sport-utility vehicles are now among the least likely to die in a motor-vehicle accident. They are also found to be much safer than smaller gas-saving cars.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released a study that credits the improvement in these SUV safety features to electronic stability control. Stability control uses the engine’s power and the vehicle’s brakes to keep vehicles on the road. This technology was introduced more quickly on SUVs than other vehicles.
Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers recognize the benefits of this new feature as statistics show that the death rate for SUV drivers dropped nearly 70 percent. SUV drivers now see 28 deaths per million vehicles for the newer 2005-2008 models. SUVs used to have a reputation for having a high risk of being involved in rollover accidents. The risks are no longer as prominent as this new technology helps keep these vehicles on all four wheels.
“The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that’s no longer the case,” says Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research.
The recent car safety report wasn’t as forgiving for drivers of smaller cars. These cars have experienced a boom in popularity because of sky-high gas prices. The death rate for drivers of these small, four-door cars is 72 per million vehicles for 2005-2008 models, more than 40 deaths more per million vehicles than SUVs.
“This report explains why Americans equate size with safety, even though small cars today are safer than ever before,” says Wade Newton, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.
After the report’s release, officials are worried that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could mandate new, and expensive, safety improvements to address concerns that these smaller cars will lead to more deaths.
“For years, small cars have represented the low end of the economic spectrum and received fewer safety and enhanced design features,” says Sean Kane of Safety Research & Strategies, which advises plaintiff lawyers, government and auto suppliers. “Undoubtedly, that has an effect.”
According to the IIHS report, drivers of these smaller cars are nearly three times more likely to die in a collision than an SUV occupant.
“The trend from the reported data is clear: The lighter the vehicle, the higher the likelihood that its driver will be killed in a collision with another vehicle,” says Mukul Verma, a veteran auto industry safety official.
Last year, of the 11.5 million vehicles sold, about 5.9 million were vans, SUVs or pickups, while 5.6 million were cars.
When vehicles are grouped by segment, minivans are rated the safest with a driver death rate of 25. SUVs come in second with a score of 28, followed by pickups averaging 52 driver deaths per million, and cars in last place with an average of 56, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It is important to take these statistics into consideration when choosing a vehicle for you or a loved one. Your vehicle can mean the difference between life and death during a car accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach car accident, contact the car accident lawyers at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez, LLC for a free case evaluation. Call 1-800-561-7777 to discuss your rights today.
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