Study: SUVs pose risk to passenger vehicles in accidents

There's No Substitute for Experience

When searching for a vehicle, aside from fuel efficiency and the overall cost, potential Tennessee buyers also rely on safety ratings. And while this is sound reasoning, what many may not realize is that these ratings do not take into account the increased risks involved when a passenger vehicle gets into a crash with an SUV.

Potential consumers rely on safety ratings. These ratings range from one to five stars and were created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumers have been using these ratings from 1978. However, while the ratings are based on data related to frontal, side pole and side barrier crashes, these ratings stick to comparisons with other vehicles similar in size and weight. This means these ratings do not show the true risk of a passenger vehicle getting into an accident with an SUV.

In looking at SUVs, there was a time period when SUVs were getting a bad rap due to their increased chance for rollovers. However, these issues have since been addressed and rollovers among SUVs are a lot less common. In fact, when it comes to safety, SUVs are now some of the safest vehicles to be in, especially when it comes to crashes with passenger vehicles.

According to a new study, if a passenger vehicle and an SUV are involved in a head-on crash, if the SUV has the higher safety rating, the passenger vehicle driver is 10 times more likely to be killed.

However, safety ratings aside, getting into an accident in a passenger vehicle is still just more riskier. According to the same study, those in passenger vehicles are more than seven times as likely to die in a head-on collision than an SUV driver.

For a Tennessee consumer, what this means is to put a vehicle's safety rating into perspective and keep in mind what the comparison is based on.

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