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SUVs put through special crash safety test; most fail

What inspires you to purchase a vehicle? Do you base your buying decision on the looks of a vehicle? Is it all about the budget and getting a good deal? If you are like many parents, it is likely that you'd choose you family vehicle based on safety ratings, space and gas mileage. 

Generally, people see size as a route to safety. Driving a truck or van might seem to be the safest options, but they are a little costly in regards to gas. That is why many families are drawn to the sport-utility-vehicles that can be seen all around Pennsylvania roads. They are larger than a sedan but still relatively good on gas mileage. However, what about their safety?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a crash safety experiment. It studied the safety of 13 popular SUVs in a way not done by other safety groups. The test was based on the fact that not all motor vehicle accidents are head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, t-bone crashes or rollover accidents. Sometimes, just a portion of the front of a vehicle crashes.

Researchers wanted to look at how those, what they call "small overlap" accidents, impact a vehicle and its hypothetical occupants. The results of the crash safety test indicate that the smaller SUVs on the market right now are not as safe as some might have thought. Only two of the 13 models tested passed the safety test.

Whether the test will impact the future manufacturing of the vehicles is up for the auto makers to decide. Among them are Jeep, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Nissan and more.

Vehicle design should provide reasonable safety for the public. Responsible driving, however, is a near surefire way to prevent crashes in the first place. Someone who is in an accident and believes that their injuries are the result of driver negligence or faulty design can talk to a personal injury attorney to determine what their legal options may be.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Only Subaru Gets Top Marks In Compact-SUV Crash Tests," Jonathan Welsh, May 16, 2013

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