Best Buy? New Research Out on Passenger Vehicle Safety

A new study was recently released out of the University of Buffalo take a closer look at vehicle safety. As San Francisco auto injury lawyers, we want our readers to know the latest information on staying safe on our roads and highways in California.

The researchers have found that accident outcomes often relate to the match of vehicles involved in the crash. This might seem obvious, but there are nuances to these findings. One is that although lighter vehicles generally fare worse on an impact with a heavier vehicle, The laws of physics dictate that in a crash between two vehicles all things are not equal. The driver of a passenger car for example is 7.6 times more likely to lose his or her life than an SUV driver in the same crash. But when a car with a high front end crash rating crashes with an SUV with a lower front test crash rating, the car driver’s likelihood of loss of life goes down to 4.5 times as likely than the SUV driver.

Another interesting conclusion to come out of this study is that in head-on crashes, the type of vehicle being driven is more important than the crash-test rating in survival prediction. This means that as car buyers, we should not assume that a good crash-test score provides a guarantee in a head-on crash, since much depends on the type of vehicle each driver is driving at the time of an accident and the match-up of vehicles is an important factor.

Car buyers also need to know that selecting an SUV for safety doesn’t necessarily ensure better outcomes. We have to keep in mind that SUV’s have a higher center of gravity and that makes them more likely to roll over in an accident. That alone can cause a fatality. In the past few years, electronic stability control (ESC) has been mandatory in SUV’s and it helps to avoid rollover. Wearing a seatbelt also is a major factor in surviving a rollover.

Those driving heavy vehicles do have an advantage over smaller, lighter vehicles in the event of a crash. But smaller vehicles are safer than they have ever been. And that means that everyone is safer these days. Safety equipment including air bags, antilock brakes and ESC have resulted in many vehicles doing better in both insurance industry and government tests.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact our law firm for a free consultation with one of our experienced injury lawyers. We evaluate your situation and provide advice on your legal rights and the medical support you need.