America loves its SUVs. But we don't love the high price of gas. Several years ago, automakers began designing small and mid-size SUV's for those customers who want the conveniences the vehicles offer but not the gas bill.
But in a recent study by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS),
only two of the thirteen small SUVs the organization tested in front-end crashes received the institute's approval. And only one SUV received the top rating of "good" - the 2014 Subaru Forester. Mitsubishi's 2013 Outlander Sport received an "acceptable" rating. Each of the other eleven models, including three of the top-selling models, the Honda CR-V, Jeep Wrangler, and Ford Escape were rated by the IIHS's rated t as either "marginal" or "poor."
In 2009, the agency conducted a study of vehicles that had received a good rating in frontal crash protection and found that small overlap crashes accounted for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants.
Last year, they added the small overlap test to the series of evaluations it performs on vehicles. Most vehicles today are designed to do well in the government's full-width front crash test and in the moderate overlap front test; however neither of those two tests give any guarantee that a vehicle will do well in the small overlay test.
The IIHS's test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle strikes another vehicle or an object. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver side strikes a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A crash dummy was in the vehicles during testing.
Two-thirds of small SUVs that were tested had poor ratings for structure, and about half of them were poor or marginal for restraints and kinematics, meaning the dummy's movements weren't well-controlled to prevent contact with hard surfaces.
The Jeep Patriot was among the worst for restraints and kinematics. The dummy's head slid off the front airbag as the steering wheel moved eight inches up and six inches to the right. The side curtain airbag didn't deploy, and the safety belt allowed the dummy's head and body to move too far forward.
The Subaru Forester had good ratings for structure, restraints and kinematics. The airbags worked as intended, and the space around the dummy was well-maintained. The Forester and Mitsubishi's Outlander Sport were the only two to earn the agency's Top Safety Pick+ rating.
Injuries from a car accident
can not only be physically debilitating, but financially as well. Medical bills, lost wages, property damage, all add up. If you've been in an accident, contact
an experienced DuPage personal injury attorney to find out what legal compensation you may be entitled to.