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People in Cars vs. People in SUVs

By Aghabegian & Associates on January 21, 2020

When you’re shopping for a car, you likely make sure that your new vehicle has a good crash rating so you and your family will be as safe as possible. However, the road is occupied by more than just cars – there are also SUVs, pickup trucks, and semi-trucks. Safety on the road has been a subject of much debate, and we want to answer some common questions on the subject.

How safe is a car, and how important is the crash rating?

When discussing the safety of a car, you first must realize that size matters. In a head-on collision between a car and an SUV, a recent study from the University of Buffalo found that the driver of the car was 7.2 times more likely to die, even if the car had a higher crash rating. The study also found that if the SUV had a higher crash rating, the car driver was almost ten times more likely to die.

On the other hand, there are several safety advantages of cars to consider:

  • Maneuverability: Cars, even larger sedans, are very maneuverable. With a low center of gravity and a rapid turning response, a good driver can react faster and avoid many accidents that would be “unavoidable” in a larger vehicle.
  • Safety of those around you: Collisions with other cars, pedestrians, motorists, and anyone else on the road tend to be less severe and cause less harm to others. If an SUV or truck hits a pedestrian or other motorist, that person is much more likely to sustain severe injuries.
  • Braking speed: Due to their size and weight, cars tend to have faster braking speeds, allowing you to avoid collisions easier.
  • Roll-over avoidance: Because cars have a lower center of gravity, the possibility of your vehicle rolling over (one of the most dangerous and fatal types of accidents) is much lower when you drive a car.

How safe is an SUV?

If you’re concerned about the safety of you and any passengers (children, spouse, family, etc.), there are several safety advantages that modern SUV’s have when compared to cars:

  • Higher ground clearance: Because SUVs are higher off the ground, they tend to be able to bypass minor obstacles that could cause an accident in a smaller vehicle, such as potholes or debris.
  • Larger and heavier: Because SUVs are larger and heavier than cars, they are much safer in a collision with a car.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC): While older SUVs tended to roll over and cause serious injury, modern SUVs have electronic stability control (ESC) which significantly reduces the possibility of a rollover.

How safe is a pickup truck?

Pickup trucks tend to be one of the safest vehicles for a driver due to their height and weight but can be very dangerous to other cars and pedestrians. They tend to be less responsible and maneuverable, and many collisions that could be easily avoided in a car are “unavoidable” in a pickup truck.

How do I ensure the safety of my family on the road?

The most important points of being safe on the road are the basics:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Stay alert
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Don’t drive while distracted (texting, eating, etc.)

However, if you find yourself involved in an auto accident caused by the negligence or carelessness of another, you must contact an attorney right away. At Aghabegian & Associates, PC, our Glendale personal injury attorneys are here to fight tooth-and-nail to get you the compensation you need to move forward with your life and deal with the challenges ahead without financial stress.

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Posted in: Auto Accidents

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