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Do SUVs Equally Protect All Occupants From Serious Injury?

Many people in Oklahoma drive SUVs. Among the various reasons why they might buy an SUV is because they believe that it is safer than other vehicles. While that might be true, it raises another safety question. Do SUVs equally protect every occupant in the vehicle?

A series of tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that for some SUVs, the front passenger seat is not as safe as the driver's seat. The IIHS tested seven small SUVs by crashing both the front driver's side and passenger's side corners of the vehicles into a barrier at 40 mph. The tests showed that most of the models offered less protection for the front passenger.

One of the engineers at the IIHS explained that the difference was likely due to the fact that earlier crash tests focused on the safety of the driver's side corner of the SUV. Thus, some manufacturers spent more resources to increase safety on that part of the vehicle.

In 2014 alone, more than 1,600 front-seat passengers died in accidents. Tests like that performed by the IIHS can expose safety weaknesses with certain vehicle models. People who ride in these models may be at greater risk serious personal injury in the event of a crash.

SUV accident victims in the Ponca City area should understand their options for seeking compensation. If the accident itself was caused by a defective auto, or if a design defect resulted in more severe injuries, they may want to consider a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer.

Source: CNBC, "Crash tests raises questions about front-seat safety in some SUVs," Phil LeBeau, Accessed on Oct. 7, 2016