A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shows that SUV’s may have been a part of many fatal crashes a decade ago, but recent advancements have greatly improved the safety of these vehicles.
The study compares how many people in minivans and cars were killed in two car crashes with pickups or SUV’s. The data is examined over two eras, first from 2000-2001, and again from 2008-2009. From 2000-2001, there were 44 fatalities in this specific type of crash for every million registered vehicle years. The number of deaths dropped to 16, which is close to two-thirds, in the 2008-2009 time frame.
With the exception of vehicles over 4,500lbs, all other weight categories had a decrease in the number of deaths in car crashes, as well.
Several factors have contributed to this decline, including side airbags, stronger body structures, and SUV’s and pickups being designed with improvements that absorb crash energy.
As for single-vehicle crashes, Electronic Stability Control can be credited for playing a part in saving lives. SUV’s are now rated the safest by IIHS with the most protection provided to passengers thanks to this technology.
– By: Alexandra Koken