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Even the safest passenger car can lose out to an SUV

May 20, 2013

Safety ratings are a big part of the research and decision-making process involved in purchasing a new car. In fact, it is often one of the most important factors for many consumers in New Jersey. If safety is a major factor in your decision, the results of a recent study may interest you.

According to researchers from the University at Buffalo, safety ratings do not always describe the true risk for injury in a car accident. Specifically, in a head-on collision between a passenger car and an SUV, those in the car have a seven times higher risk for injury regardless of the car’s safety ratings.

Where a car has a safety rating higher than the SUV, the study concluded that they were four times more likely to sustain fatal injuries. When the SUV has a higher safety rating than the car, the passengers in the car are 10 times more at risk for fatal injuries.

“When two vehicles are involved in a crash, the overwhelming majority of fatalities occur in the smaller and lighter of the two vehicles,” said the author of the study. That part may not be considered rocket science to our readers, but the author went on to say that “even when the two vehicles are of similar weights, outcomes are still better in the SUVs.”

The conclusion of this study is that passenger cars tend to be less protective of their passengers than an SUV when the two collide despite their safety ratings. That’s what the data showed researchers under these circumstance, but it doesn’t change the laws regarding victims’ right to compensation after the negligence of another causes them injury.

Source: Claims Journal, “Passenger Car Drivers More Likely to Die in Crashes With SUVs Regardless of Safety Ratings,” Denise Johnson, May 15, 2013

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