IIHS Announces Top Safety Picks
Posted on December 29th, 2011 by Zane Cagle
Videos like this of crash safety tests really drive home the point of how important it is to have a safe car, and can also show how far car safety has come in the last 40 years. With that in mind, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released their list of Top Safety Picks among 2012 car models. There were 18 new additions to the list this year, bringing the total number of models on the list to 115. Toyota, Lexis, and Scion top the manufacturers with the most models on the list with 15 each, followed by General Motors with 14, and then Volkswagen and Audi with 13.
The increase in vehicles on the list is directly attributable to the manufacturers placing a greater emphasis on roof safety in a rollover accident. Rollovers are extremely dangerous accident, and cause a disproportionate amount of injuries. This is because the occupant makes contact with the roof of the car, which can result in severe head and neck injuries. Currently, there is some debate as to what exactly causes this: does the occupant leave the seat to strike the roof, or does the roof cave in to strike the occupant? Because each crash is different, there is probably not one correct answer, but manufacturers have taken steps to keep the roof from crushing the occupant, thereby helping to prevent injuries.
Rollovers are also dangerous because they increase the risk of being ejected from the vehicle. This is being addressed through side impact air bags, which deploy along the side windows, helping prevent the driver from being ejected and helping prevent the driver’s head from being slammed into the side of the vehicle. Seat belts greatly reduce the risk of being ejected from the vehicle, and a combination of side impact air bags plus a safety belt provides the greatest safety in the event of a side impact crash.
The U.S. Department of Transportation publishes a website, www.safecar.gov, where consumers can check on their vehicles to find safety rankings. The government tests for all types of accidents: front crash, side impact, and rollovers. It shows just how safe a vehicle is for passengers by gender and in relation to where they are seated. For instance, a car may be relatively safe for a male driver, but provide significantly less safety for a female driver, due to the difference in body size. This can be important information to ensure that your car is providing you specifically with the safety you need.
Other interesting information on that site is information about recalls and consumer complaints. Here, drivers can learn of problems other drivers have been having with their vehicles and begin monitoring for such problems, or ask a mechanic to check it out before it becomes an issue while driving. For instance, if a car reports that gas pedals get stuck or that brakes suddenly go out, the consumer can (hopefully) have that replaced before it is an issue. And if it is a confirmed manufacturer defect and a recall has been issued, the work is often done free of charge (but it’s a good idea to confirm this before having work done).
Zane T. Cagle and the Missouri car accident attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm want everyone have a safe holiday season and safe 2012. Hopefully the information contained here can give you and your family peace of mind when driving that your car is as safe as it possibly can be. Unfortunately, car crashes do happen, even to the safest among us. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Missouri, Illinois, or Kentucky, the effects can be devastating. Lost wages, personal injury, and the general headache of trying to get your life back in order can be very difficult indeed. The caring, tenacious attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm can help get your life back in order, and give you piece of mind that all your legal bases have been covered. If you’ve been injured in Missouri, Illinois, or Kentucky, call 1.800.685.3302 today for a free consultation.