SUVs pickups become safer in collisions with small cars — Volkswagen PickUp

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SUVs, pickups become in collisions with small

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SUVs and pickups far less risk to people in and minivans than previous of the same vehicles, a new study the Insurance Institute for Highway shows.

Until recently, and pickups were more than cars or minivans of the weight to be involved in crashes killed occupants of other or minivans, the IIHS says. no longer the case for SUVs. are getting better, too.

researchers attribute much of the to improved crash protection in the and minivans due to improvements such as air bags and stronger structures. newer designs of SUVs and align their front and other crash protection along the lines of cars. is no longer as bad of a mismatch as there has in the past.

The National Highway Traffic Administration asked automakers to the compatibility issue amid about the changing vehicle mix on roads. In response, the Alliance of Manufacturers, the Association of Global and the Institute led a series of meetings in to come up with solutions:

automakers included BMW, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Isuzu, Kia, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

The agreed to build the front of SUVs and pickups so that energy-absorbing structures would up better with those of reducing the likelihood that an SUV or would override a car in a collision. alignment allows both front ends to manage the energy, helping to keep it from the occupant compartments.

The automakers also pledged to head protection in all vehicles in to improve outcomes when an SUV or strikes another vehicle in the They accomplished this by more head-protecting side air

By working together, the automakers got changes done quickly, Joe Nolan, the Institute’s chief officer and co-author of the new study. The new have made a big difference on the

The deadline for implementing the compatibility was September 2009, but many of the models in the study already Among 2004 models, 54% of and pickups met the front-end requirements, and 2007 models, 81% did.

How the was done: Institute researchers at 1- to 4-year-old SUVs, pickups, and in 2000-01 and 2008-09 and compared the of car and minivan occupants killed in crashes with those per million registered vehicle (A registered vehicle year is one registered for one year, two for six months, The cars or minivans in which were killed, known as partner vehicles, could be of any size, and weight. Data on deaths came from the Fatality Analysis Reporting and registration information came R.L. Polk.

In both 2000-01 and 2008-09, the of crash partner deaths went up as vehicle weight This isn’t surprising vehicle weight is a key factor in the of crashes. However, in the first SUVs were more to people in other vehicles cars of the same weight, and were more deadly SUVs.

Between 2000-01 and the rate of crash partner declined for all weight categories of all types of vehicles, except the small group of cars and weighing 4,500-4,999 pounds. in occupant protection in the crash cars and minivans helped the number of deaths. The spread of as well as changes in travel due to the sluggish economy and high gas likely also contributed to decline.

Crash partner death for pickups, SUVs, and cars/minivans in weren’t as far apart as they in 2000-01. Among 1- to 4-year-old in a given weight category, an SUV posed no more risk to in a car or minivan than another car or Pickups still fatally people in cars and minivans at a rate, particularly in frontal

Pickups lagged behind vehicles in getting ESC, and of some top-selling models slow to change. Those help explain why the numbers improve as much for pickups as for Nolan says. Also, often carry loads, so the in these crashes could be a deal heavier than curb weights.

The results don’t contradict the physics of crashes. Size and are still key, and a small, vehicle is going to fare than a big, heavy in a crash. In general, SUVs and are heavier than cars, so in sense different types of always will be mismatched. But the shows that, beyond differences in vehicle styles have to be a safety problem.

SUVs: The study of car/minivan partner deaths is the latest of Institute research showing SUVs aren’t the safety they once were. calculated driver death for 2005-08 models show drivers of SUVs are among the likely to die in a crash. That is due largely to ESC.

Whether you’re in an SUV or just the road with one, says, recent improvements to vehicles are making you safer.

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