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U at Buffalo study highlights SUV crash risks

When you’re shopping for a new ride, many vehicle manufacturers will tout high crash ratings as a reason to invest in a certain model of car. These ratings are meant to give you an indication of how well your new car will fare should you become involved in a vehicle accident and, therefore, your chances of escaping without serious injury or death.

However, a recent study out of our home state of New York suggests that these crash ratings are not always as reliable a predictor or safety as we might like to think. This is particularly true when a car collides with a heavier, larger vehicle like a sport utility vehicle. In those accidents, a passenger car driver is more likely to die or become seriously injured, regardless of their car’s crash rating.

The study from the University at Buffalo found that in head-on collisions between cars and SUVs, the drivers of cars were almost 10 times more likely to die if the SUV had a better crash rating than the car – and, alarmingly, more than four times more likely to die if their crash rating beat the SUVs.

In an accident the driver and passengers in the smaller, lighter vehicle are much more likely to die or sustain injury. That’s what makes collisions with trucks, buses and SUVs so dangerous for other motorists.

There are other disadvantages to cars in this situation as well. The bumpers of cars and SUVs don’t always line up, which can lead the front part of SUVs to ride over the front of a car hitting it head-on and crush the driver.

If you are involved in a serious motor vehicle accident consider getting in touch with a personal injury attorney.

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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