Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SUVs Less Dangerous To Others*

A new study by the IIHS shows that SUVs which strike cars of a similar weight are now not more dangerous than other types of vehicles.  This is great news, as it shows that automakers have been taking the interface issue seriously.   By adjusting the heights of crash structures, moving towards unibody designs, and improving crumple on light SUVs, automakers have been able to meet or even exceed sedan crash performance.  


The study looks at crashes where vehicles collide which are within 500lbs in weight of each other.  It does not say much about crashes where the vehicles are farther apart, for example a 5000lb SUV striking a 3500lb car.  In cases like those, injuries and deaths are still going to be lopsided, with the occupants of the lighter vehicle suffering more damage.  

This chart from IIHS is telling, it shows how heavier vehicles tend to have higher partner death rates than lighter ones.  

At the end of the day, a larger, heavier vehicle is still safer, for the people riding in it.  But not necessarily for the others on the road.

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