You may now be safer than before in a Chicago Car Accident if You Drive an SUV

The death rate for SUV drivers has dropped nearly 70 percent. Safety advocates credit the installation of electronic stability for the increased safety, according to USA Today. This new technology uses the SUV’s brakes and the power of the engine to keep these vehicles on all fours, decreasing the risk of death during a car accident in Chicago and elsewhere throughout the United States, according to a recent report released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Our Illinois car accident attorneys understand that SUV drivers are now among those that are least likely to die in a traffic accident. These drivers are now much safer than passengers in smaller cars. The recent high rollover rate for these larger vehicles may have been the reason that this new technology was introduced more quickly in SUVs than in cars. Either way, SUV drivers have one less thing to worry about.Previously, before the introduction of this technology, the death rate for SUV drivers was 82 per million vehicles in the 1999 to 2002 models. Now, with the new safety measures, SUVs have a driver death rate of only 28 per million vehicles in the newer 2005 to 2008 models.

Drivers of cars weren’t so fortunate with the release of new car models. These vehicles went from a driver death rate of 110 per million in the 1999 to 2002 model to a driver death rate of 72 per million in the 2005 to 2008 models. While still a decrease in deaths, it doesn’t compare to the reduction of the SUV rates.

“The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that’s no longer the case,” says Anne McCartt, the institute’s senior vice president for research. “It’s a dramatic change and a testament to the incredible effectiveness of electronic stability control.”

Here are the top 15 safest SUVs, according to ABC News:

-Audi A6 4-door 4WD

-Mercedes E-Class 4-door 4WD

-Toyota Sienna

-Ford Edge

-Nissan Armada

-Land Rover Range Rover Sport

-Land Rover LR3

-Honda CR-V

-Jeep Grand Cherokee

-Acura MDX

-Mercedes E-Class 4-door

-Lexus RX 400h

-Lexus GX 470

-Mercedes M-Class

-Saab 9-3 4-door

“The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that’s no longer the case, thanks to ESC,” Anne McCartt, the Institute’s senior vice president for research. “It’s not just weight that gives SUVs an advantage. It’s also their height and other factors. When cars and SUVs of similar weight are compared, the SUVs have lower death rates.”

According to the IIHS report, drivers of smaller vehicles are nearly three times more likely to die in a motor-vehicle crash than in a rollover. Stability control has not been widely introduced in these types of passenger cars.

“For years, small cars have represented the low end of the economic spectrum and received fewer safety and enhanced design features,” says Sean Kane of Safety Research & Strategies, which advises plaintiff lawyers, government and auto suppliers. “Undoubtedly, that has an effect.”

Last year, there were nearly 12 million vehicles sold in the United States. Nearly 6 million of these sales were SUVs, pickups or vans while the remaining 5.6 million were cars.

“This report explains why Americans equate size with safety, even though small cars today are safer than ever before,” Newton says.

Many safety advocates suggest that more focus needs to be placed on the safety of smaller car occupants in the event of an accident with a larger vehicle.

“The trend from the reported data is clear: The lighter the vehicle, the higher the likelihood that its driver will be killed in a collision with another vehicle,” says Mukul Verma, a veteran auto industry safety official
Here are the top 10 vehicles with the worst driver death ratings:

-Nissan 350Z

-Nissan Titan crew cab

-Chevrolet Aveo

-Chevrolet Cobalt

-Nissan Titan extended cab

-Kia Spectra

-Chevrolet Malibu Classic

-Hyundai Tiburon

-Nissan Versa

-Chevrolet Colorado extended cab

If you were to compare vehicles using their most recent death rates, you would find that minivans are by far the safest with a driver death rate of 25. SUVs were right behind with a score of 28 followed by pickups with an average of 52 driver deaths per million registration years. In last place were cars with an unfortunate average of 56.

It is still important to point out that large cars perform better than small ones. Smaller four-door cars have a death rate of 82 while their larger four-door members have a death rate of 46.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

Seeing Yellow Dots? Emergency Info can be a Lifesaver after a Chicago Car Accident, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 26, 2011
Illinois Car Accidents 8th Costliest in Nation, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 24, 2011

Deadly Chicago auto accident – 2 killed, 4 injured
, Chicago Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 23, 2011

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