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SUV drivers are 50 percent less likely to die in a crash
Published on 10 Jun. 2011 11:14 PM IST
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A study has found that SUV drivers are 50 percent less likely than those in a car to die in a crash.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has compiled data from auto accidents occurring on U.S. roads between 2006 and 2009, Fox News reported. And it was found that fatality rates for SUV drivers were significantly lower than for drivers of other models.
The IIHS study attributes much of the SUV segment's improvement to the widespread availability of electronic stability control (ESC).
Before that development came along, top-heavy SUVs were more prone to roll over in collisions, which largely negated their safety benefits of size and weight.
The study only looked at vehicles from the 2005 - 2008 model years. The data implies that vehicles from other years may fare similarly well, but only if they have ESC.
Not surprisingly, the worst performers were cars that fell into the IIHS's "mini" car category, like the Chevrolet Aveo and the Kia Rio. There were also a few pickups namely, the Nissan Titan, Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Ranger.
At the top of the scale, "large" SUVs like the Nissan Armada and Land Rover LR3 performed slightly better than "very large" models like the Chevy Suburban. In all, seven models, the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, Toyota Sienna, Ford Edge, Nissan Armada, Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and Land Rover LR3, had no fatalities at all.

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