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I want a safe vehicle, but I can’t afford the best-rated vehicle or fancy safety features. What kind of vehicle should I choose?

If you are concerned about safety, your best vehicle choice may be an SUV.

Most people assume that safety ratings adequately reflect how well a car will protect its occupants in a Quad Cities car crash. This is true, but safety ratings only compare the performance of a car in a simulated accident to that of other vehicles in the same size class. A recent study found that when vehicles of different sizes collide, car crash safety ratings may not matter.

Researchers at the University of Buffalo in New York used the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database to study fatal head-on collisions. The study included records for 83,521 vehicles involved in head-on crashes that occurred between 2005 and 2010.

They researchers found that car crash ratings matter most when a car hits a car of a similar size. In this case, the driver of the lower-rated vehicle’s risk of death increased by 22 percent for each difference in safety ratings. But safety ratings didn’t matter so much when a car hit a larger vehicle, especially if that vehicle was an SUV. When a car hit an SUV, the occupants of the smaller vehicle were significantly more likely to suffer fatal injuries, even if the SUV had a lower safety rating and even if the SUV and car were of similar sizes.

According to the FARS data, when a car crashes into an SUV, the occupants of the car are seven times more likely to die than the occupants of the SUV. The occupants of the car are ten times more likely to die when the SUV has a better crash rating than the car. If the car has a higher crash rating, the occupants of the car are four times more likely to die.

The reason is the height difference. When an SUV collides with a car, the front of the SUV rides over the front of the shorter vehicle. The can cause fatal injuries to the occupants of the car.

High safety ratings and good driving habits are not enough to guarantee that you won’t be injured in a Quad Cities auto accident. If you or a loved one has a suffered serious injury due to a negligent driver, you need to know how to protect your case, so you can get the insurance compensation you deserve. Find out what to do next in your free copy of The Ultimate Guide For Automobile Accident Victims. To schedule a free consultation with a Quad Cities accident injury lawyer, contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-807-2752.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham