Kinder, gentler SUVs kill fewer people
Design changes in SUVs have radically reduced the death rate among occupants of the other vehicle when there's a crash.
This post comes from Des Toups at partner site CarInsurance.com.
In data released Wednesday, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said changes to the design of high-riding pickups and sport-utilities, combined with improvements such as side airbags in cars, had lowered the death rate in the vehicles they struck, by nearly two-thirds in some cases.
That's a big change from the beginning of the decade -- the peak of the sport-utility craze -- when insurers such as Farmers and State Farm raised rates for drivers of SUVs, citing the outsized damage that the vehicles caused. In 2000-01, occupants in cars and minivans hit by sport-utilities died twice as often as those hit by other cars and minivans.
Today, the IIHS says, as the occupant of a midsize car or van, you're as safe being hit by an SUV as you are by another car. Slightly safer, in fact.
The IIHS notes that physics haven't changed: That is, a light car hit by a heavy SUV still won't fare very well. But for vehicles in the same weight classes, it's a fair fight. Post continues after video.
In regulatory terms, automakers and safety officials addressed the mismatch between cars and trucks at warp speed. After meetings in 2003 to discuss design changes to better align the impact-absorbing structures of light trucks with the cars they hit, improvement came quickly. Among 2004 models, 54% of SUVs and pickups met the new front-end requirements, the IIHS said, and among 2007 models, 81% did.
"By working together, the automakers got life-saving changes done quickly," says Joe Nolan, co-author of the new study. "The new designs have made a big difference on the road."
More on CarInsurance.com and MSN Money:
It draws a picture of gangs of SUVs, stalking in the shadows, looking for their next victim. I often wonder what my Wrangler does while I sleep. It is blue, I hope it's not involved with those Crip fellows..........
I would think the data would need to factor in the decreased number of SUV's on the road. With the huge increase in fuel prices the last three years people have to drive less, drive a small car, or sell their SUV altogether.
With the huge increases in food prices, people just don't have the money to spend on gas, so they stay home.
SUV's don't kill people. Drivers of SUV's kill people.
I'm glad to hear that SUVs are starting to cut back on their murdering ways. It was getting a little scary there for a minute.
Now, we just need to get the mini-vans on board and the roadways will be safe again!
SUV's im sure have become much more safe than the past as well as many other vehicles. I do believe though that the driver of vehicles cause the accident and the deaths of those involved. No matter how safe the vehicles become there will still be accidents.
Listen to yourselves...."Kinder, gentler SUVs kill fewer people" Killing fewer people. Who comes up with these captions anyway? Shouldn't it say some thing like "Kinder, gentler SUV's with better safety rating for the safe and sound rides the the drive wants"....
How long have you, the writer been writing, anyway? It is pitiful.....
Remember :According to the anointed one;Get rid of those gas guzzling SUV's and buy one of his recommended electric cars.
Saying a SUV kills people is like saying a Big Rig kills people. I hate to inform you weenies, but its the DRIVER of said Vehicle. There are Drivers and there are NFD's. My favorite saying is "Welcome to Florida, training grounds for NASCAR"
You so-called reporters need to do some research on what you write about. Especially if you are a car insurance site...
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