The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has been conducting crash tests and watching out for car safety issues for a long time. Now it has issued its Top Safety Picks for 2012. The group, funded by the insurance industry, conducts tests separate from government-funded tests and found a record 115 car models that made the pick, up from 11 in 2005.
USA Today’s auto section, Drive On, says the top includes 69 cars, five minivans, and 38 SUVs. The findings include: Subaru ranks high for every model it builds; Toyota had the most in the top category with 15; General Motors followed with 14; then Volkswagen/Audi at 13; Ford/Lincoln and Honda/Acura at 12 each; and Chrysler/Fiat/Dodge at 11.
Most surprising pick is the Accord which had been off the IIHS list because of roof-strength issues, but was back on the list along with 9 other Hondas.
Generally, the IIHS tests are considered tougher than the federal government and include: a 40 mph frontal offset crash; a 31 mph side-crash test; a roof strength test requiring a force four times the weight of the car before a 5 inch roof crush is observed; and a 20 mph rear crash with head restraint tests.
Rollover crashes account for more than one-third of passenger deaths even though vehicles roll in less than 3 percent of crashes, according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. A vehicle rollover is much more common in an SUV than in a car because of the high center of gravity. When the roof buckles, the occupants in the vehicle are likely to suffer traumatic head and neck injuries. An IIHS study from 2008 found that a strong roof reduced the risk of these devastating injuries in a rollover.
A new roof standard will begin to be phased in by 2013 that would require the roof to withstand the weight of the vehicle by three times with head room maintained. By the year 2017, the standard will be mandatory. If you have already been involved in a rollover crash that was possibly due to the design of the SUV, the SUV rollover attorneys in Jacksonville can help you receive compensation for your injuries. Please call (800) 603-3640 for a no-cost consultation.
Source: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/driveon/post/2011/12/record-115-top-safety-picks-in-2012-model-iihs-crash-tests/1; http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/rollover.html