Vehicle Safety Ratings and Head-On Crash Rates

Vehicles come in all shapes and sizes, from big monster pickup trucks to the mini Coopers many people zip around town in. When a person is shopping around for a new vehicle, there are many factors they may consider, including the age of the vehicle, the gas mileage, and whether they like the overall style and look of the vehicle. One of the most important factors that a new vehicle buyer should consider is the safety rating the vehicle has, particularly when it comes to car accidents. The higher the safety rating, the better your chances are of surviving a severe crash.

When researching vehicle safety, keep in mind that vehicles are placed in one of three categories:

  • Sedans
  • SUVs
  • Pickup trucks

Each of these types has both pros and cons when it comes to crash protection. Knowing what those are can help you decide which vehicle is right for you and your family.

Head-On Collisions

When vehicle manufacturers simulate collisions, they often use vehicles of similar size. But studies have shown that, because the size of the vehicle affects the impact of a crash, a larger vehicle will obviously do significantly more damage to a vehicle that is smaller.

In one study, researchers had an SUV and a sedan crash head-on with each other. They found that the sedan’s driver would have an almost eight times more chance of being killed in a head-on crash with an SUV. Even if the sedan had a better-than-average crash-test rating, the driver would be five times more likely to be killed in the crash than the driver in the SUV.

However, despite the apparent conclusion that an SUV driver would be more likely to survive a head-on crash, it does not mean these styles of vehicles are safer than sedans. In fact, multiple studies and tests have shown that SUVs are more likely to roll over than smaller-sized vehicles and many victims do not survive rollover crashes.

When shopping for a vehicle, make sure to check what the crash test rating is. Any vehicle with a rating of “good” means the driver is almost 50 percent less likely to be killed in a head-on crash than a vehicle that has been rated as poor. It is that crash test rating – and not the size of the vehicle – that is the true indicator of a head-on crash victim’s chance of survival.

Let a North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney Help

If you have been injured in a head-on crash, you need a skilled North Carolina car accident advocating for you against the at-fault driver’s insurance company. At Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp, we have been fighting for victims for more than three decades and will work diligently to get you the best outcome for your case. Our injury firm also offers a free car accident injury guide, which covers topics such as what damages can be claimed, how much a claim may be worth, and how passenger injury cases are different.