Car Safety: Not All SUVs Are as Safe as You Think

Car safety is an important subject.

Too often, experts use technology to explain why vehicles are safer now than they have ever been before. But technology alone does not secure you and keeps you from being involved in accidents. In spite of the innovation the auto industry has experienced in the last years, many car makers continue to use designs that are not especially safe.

As more consumers are turning to SUVs for safety, experts at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety urge car owners to take a closer look at the group’s last SUV tests.

During the past year, the IIHS has been testing SUVs using its new crash safety test. According to the group, the test helps researchers to know just how well the vehicle will protect occupants in case the vehicle’s front corner crashes into another vehicle, a tree, or a pole. According to the test results, things don’t seem too good for SUVs.

In one test involving a Dodge Journey, IIHS claims to have noted the vehicle would not protect occupants well in a small overlap collision. In the test, the vehicle’s front corner crash caused the crushed metal to intrude as much as 9 inches into the vehicle. As a result, the dummy’s left lower leg was torn. Other injuries the crash test dummy suffered included left knee and hi, as well as right lower leg injuries. In the accident test, the side curtain air bag did not deploy since the impact came from the front corner.

Since not all accidents occur because of head on collisions, tests like the one used by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety are important to identify just what automakers are doing wrong when it comes to car safety.

As the IIHS continues to test vehicles for the small overlap crash tests, automakers will have to find a way of managing the crash energy by developing structures that are resistant enough to support collisions that do not impact the front-end of the vehicle.

According to the independent car safety group, the test results are being taken into account by automakers when it comes to redesigning certain models that do not fare well in the small overlap crash test.

In the last four to five years, many automakers have begun to take the risks seriously by making sure the front structure is beefed up. But other steps must be taken so that automakers do not only focus on car safety tech alone.

While some SUVs still fail to fare well in the IIHS’ small overlap crash test, several SUV models earned the group’s Top Safety Pick+ award. Some of them are the Toyota Highlander and the Nissan Murano.

For more on the SUVs and how automakers are addressing the car safety issue, follow this link.


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