The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a new study indicating that small SUV’s may not be the safest for passengers. While typically there is no passenger-side rating when rating cars for safety, new studies may change this. IIHS believes that more people need to be aware of how their SUV will respond in a passenger side collision. As more consumers realize their passengers’ safety is just as important as their own, car manufacturers will respond to ensure that car safety extends across the board.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted tests on seven small SVU’s. The results indicate that six of the seven vehicles failed the safety standards on the passenger’s side. Only the 2016 Hyundai Tucson received a good rating. As a result of this test, the IIHS is considering adding the passenger-side rating as part of its TOP SAFETY PICK criteria. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is hoping this change will force manufacturers to develop overall safer cars. According to Becky Mueller, an IIHS senior research engineer and the lead author of the study, cited that more than 1,600 right-front passengers died in deadly car accidents 2014.
Typically, most tests have only used a driver dummy because there will always be a driver in a crash. However, newer tests are focusing on passenger safety as well. One test aimed towards passenger safety is the small overlap test, conducted to replicate an accident with an impact similar to a utility pole or tree. Granted this test has been used in the past on driver safety, it is now also being applied to passenger safety. Since this test was first used in 2012, 13 manufacturers have made structural changes to 97 vehicles. When applying the small overlap test to both the driver side and the passenger side, the results from the impacts differed drastically.
The 2015 Toyota RAV4 and the 2014 Nissan Rogue were the two vehicles to receive the worst rating. These two cars had the greatest amount of passenger-side intrusion. Intrusion measure how well a vehicle structure would hold up in a collision. The greater the intrusion, the greater the chances of serious injuries. The RAV4 had an intrusion that was 13 inches greater on the passenger side versus the driver side. The Rogue displayed a similar 10-inch difference between the impact on the driver side versus the passenger side. When the small overlap test was conducted, the Nissan Rogue’s door hinge pillar was entirely torn off, while the RAV4’s door was opened completely.
If this type of accident would to occur in real life, the passenger would potentially have been ejected. The 2014 Subaru Forester also displayed similar results. It is important to note that, while the small SUV’s performed poorly when conducting the small overlap test on the passenger side, the cars did perform better when a moderate overlap test was conducted. A moderate overlap test is used to simulate a collision that involves 40% of the front of the car. Due to these results, the IIHS has decided to make the passenger-side safety rating a requirement as early as 2018.
Passengers in motor vehicle accidents face additional risk. Those injured while a passenger in an accident are entitled to full reimbursement for their harms and losses. Filing a claim requires having someone fighting on your side who is able to ensure the insurance industry is not taking advantage of your situation. Contact the aggressive and compassionate injury lawyers at The Dixon Injury Firm for a FREE Consultations. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling (314) 409-7060.