Only three of 11 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety earned good or acceptable ratings in the insurance industry’s latest tests designed to help consumers pick the safest vehicles. The Acura TL and Volvo S60 earned good ratings, while the Infiniti G earned acceptable in the Institute’s new small overlap frontal crash test. The Acura TSX, BMW 3 series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC earned marginal ratings. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 250/350, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 earned poor. All of these cars are 2012 models.
Small overlap crashes accounted for nearly a quarter of the frontal crashes involving serious or fatal injury to front seat occupants, according to IIHS. The Institute plans to test non-luxury models next. It will incorporate results of this new test in its overall safety ratings in the future. In the test, 25% of a car’s front end on the driver side strikes a five-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40 mph. A 50th percentile male Hybrid III dummy is belted in the driver seat. The test is designed to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. Institute President Adrian Lund said:
Nearly every new car performs well in other frontal crash tests conducted by the Institute and the federal government, but we still see more than 10,000 deaths in frontal crashes each year. Small overlap crashes are a major source of these fatalities. This new test program is based on years of analyzing real-world frontal crashes and then replicating them in our crash test facility to determine how people are being seriously injured and how cars can be designed to protect them better. We think this is the next step in improving frontal crash protection.
Small overlap crashes primarily affect a car’s outer edges, which aren’t well protected by crush-zone structures. Crash forces go directly into the front wheel, suspension system and firewall. It’s not uncommon for the wheel to be forced rearward into the footwell, contributing to even more intrusion into the occupant compartment, resulting in serious leg and foot injuries.
Source: Insurance Journal
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.