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by Brett Davis

A recent investigation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the US has found that newer SUVs are less dangerous to smaller cars during a crash than in the past. This could potentially remove some of the perception that SUVs aren’t safe for other road users.

It’s a pretty common perception that SUVs are dangerous. In the event of an accident they leave a big, heavy impact on conventional sedans and hatches. The high ride-height matched with the common flat-nose posture of previous-model SUVs against a small car doesn’t bode well for those in the small car.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal report citing IIHS data, this is not the case anymore. Newer SUVs have become significantly safer towards other cars. The findings showed that during 2000-2001, the fatality rate caused by SUVs that were one to four years old was 44 deaths per million registered vehicles.

In the year 2008-2009, that figure dropped by almost 64 per cent to just 16 deaths per million registered vehicles, regarding SUVs of the same age. This is due to increasing attention and technology being poured into the design of the front ends of new SUVs, and the advances in crash structures and crumple zones.

IIHS chief administrative officer and co-author of the report, Joseph M. Nolan, said, “It used to be, pound for pound, that pick-ups and SUVs were more deadly than cars”, but statistics are showing improvements.

What do you think about the perception of SUVs? Do you drive an SUV simply for the safety factor? Feel free to give us your thoughts below.




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