SUVs Are Safer Than Ever, IIHS Says
These findings show that manufacturers have made great progress in the past ten years, and these tall vehicles are not the death machines they once were.
IIHS compared fatality data for vehicles that were 1 to 4 years old back in 2000 and 2001 and vehicles of the same age in 2008 and 2009. The results: almost a two-thirds drop in the deadliness of SUVs, from 44 death to 16 per million crashes.
In the past, these vehicles had incompatible crumple zones and protection structures with cars because they were much taller. In the case of side-on collisions, the bumper of the SUV often aligned with the window. As a result of joint efforts from government organizations and automakers, almost 81 percent of SUVs had compatible bumpers by 2007.
“Size and weight are still key, and a small, lightweight vehicle is going to fare worse than a big, heavy vehicle in a crash,” says IIHS.