Study: Death rates for SUV, pickup crashes decline
In the past decade, SUVs and pickups have become less likely to kill you if your car collides with them, according to a study released Sept. 28.
In 2008-09, the latest information available, 1- to 4-year-old SUVs were involved in crashes that killed car or minivan occupants at a rate of 16 deaths per 1 million registered vehicles weighing between 3,000 and 3,499 pounds, down from 44 deaths per million in 2000-01, according to the study, produced by the industry-backed Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The rate of truck deaths went from 63 to 26 deaths per 1 million registered vehicles weighing between 3,000 and 3,499 pounds, according to the study.
“That’s good news for people who drive SUVs and pickups and good news for everybody else on the road because those cars do not pose as much as a risk as they once did,” Joe Nolan, vice president of research at the institute and co-author of the study, tells InsuranceQuotes.com.
Nolan points to two reasons that SUVs and trucks are safer:
1. Automakers agreed to build the front ends of SUVs and pickups so that their energy-absorbing structures would line up better with cars. This was done so that in a head-on collision, an SUV or truck was less likely to roll over a car. That change followed a series of meetings in 2003 between the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and many of the big automakers.
2. Head-protecting side air bags have been added.
“By working together, the automakers got life-saving changes done quickly,” Nolan says in a statement about the study. “The new designs have made a big difference on the road.”