Better Design Leads To Fewer Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

Most people in the Ponca City area who have newer model vehicles probably believe that those vehicles are safer than the older models were. That expectation is likely warranted based on a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS data shows that the chances of dying in an accident involving a later model vehicle have declined over the past few years.

The IIHS attributed the declining death rates for newer model vehicle to better vehicle designs and improved safety technology. A sluggish economy may have contributed to some of the decline in vehicle deaths for later model vehicles. However, the IIHS estimated that safety improvements alone saved roughly 7,700 lives in 2012, compared to what the death toll would have been had automobile design and safety features stayed the same since the year 1985.

For the 2011 model year, nine different vehicle models had a zero death rate; six of those vehicles were SUVs. This marks a drastic improvement from about ten years ago when rollover accidents made SUVs among the vehicles with the worst death rates.

The fact that deaths from motor vehicle crashes are declining for people who are driving newer vehicles is encouraging. The data seems to be showing that defective auto problems that lead to accidents like SUV rollovers are becoming less and less prevalent as manufacturers innovate vehicle design. Motor vehicle crashes are a still, however, a problem in Oklahoma and everywhere else in the country.

Safer vehicle design has meant that people in later model SUVs are less likely to suffer a fatal accident. But, this does not necessarily mean that people in other vehicles won't be killed or seriously injured in an accident with an SUV.

Regardless of the safety of newer SUV models, an SUV accident can still be fatal. Drivers in SUVs should remember that safety features in their own vehicle doesn't give them a license to drive negligently and risk the safety of others on the roadways.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Improved vehicle designs bring down death rates," Accessed on Dec. 27, 2015

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