Many people drive an SUV (even if it is often with just one or two people inside) because they think it keeps them safe and damn the low mileage (although that is improving). The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), however, has some food for thought.
The IIHS released the results of a series of crash tests for six SUVs and found that some mid-size SUVs don't protect the occupants any better than a car, at least in side impact tests. The chances of surviving a head-on collision has improved, but IIHS found that "None of the SUVs got top ratings in all of the tests, which included a frontal offset test and a rear crash test," according to the Daily Progress.
As David Zuby, senior vice president of vehicle research, told the paper: "SUVs should have an advantage in side crashes because the driver and passengers ride higher up than in cars. People often think they're safer in one of these vehicles, but many cars hold up better than some of the these mid-size SUVs in this test."
The tests were done on six SUV body types, those used in the Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Nissan Xterra, Ford Explorer, Mercury Mountaineer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Isuzu Ascender and Saab 9-7x. The presence or absence and location of airbags played an important role in how safe the SUVs were. Note, also, that these are not the tests run by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Perhaps Ford needs to revive (and revamp) the Esuvee campaign.
[Source: Daily Progress]