Many people in Oklahoma drive sport utility vehicles because they are bigger than cars and offer more space for passengers and cargo. In addition, many SUV owners perceive their vehicles as being safer than other smaller options. Research shows that SUVs are in fact safer in certain circumstances, but their safety is not necessarily as clear-cut as some people might think.
According to a research report from the University of Buffalo, SUVs do fare better in front-end crashes involving a car and an SUV. The research showed that when these kinds of accidents occur between a car and an SUV, people in the car are almost eight times more likely to die from the crash than the people in the larger vehicle.
Certain kinds of cars did better than others in front-end crashes. For example, the cars that had a better front-crash test rating than the SUV had a lower death rate than other cars. But even those more front-crash worthy cars still resulted in the occupants being four and a half times more likely to die in a front-end crash with an SUV than the SUV driver.
Although SUVs are likely safer when it comes to front-end crashes with cars, they do have some safety disadvantages. Because these vehicles have a higher center of gravity than cars, SUVs are more likely to roll over. These kinds of accidents are particularly problematic because they often result in fatalities. Every year, thousands of people died in rollover SUV accidents. It is worth noting that a significant number of people who died in these rollover crashes are not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
No matter the type of vehicle, a negligent driver can cause a motor vehicle crash that leads to injuries or even deaths. SUV very well may be a safer option in many situations. However, SUV drivers should not take safety for granted and should always research a vehicle's safety rating before purchasing.
Source: ConsumerReports.org, "SUVs are safer than cars in front crashes, but there is more to the story," Jeff Bartlett, Accessed on March 7, 2015