Shopping for a new car or SUV is no easy task, especially with so many models and new safety features to choose from. Fortunately, the new NHTSA report is out for 2007 year model vehicles and it is very encouraging. As of September 1, 2007, mandatory safety information for all 2008 model year cars is required to be on the window sticker. Besides newer miles per gallon estimates, consumers will be able to read information regarding government crash-test data for frontal /side crash tests and rollover ratings right on the vehicle itself.
The governmental agency responsible for these tests is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This year, 78 SUV’s received a four-star rating, compared to only one in 2001. A four star rating means that the vehicle has a 10-20% chance of rollover risk. Explorer Sport Trac, Hyundai Sante Fe, Mazda CX-7, Infiniti FX35, Honda CR-V, Acura MDX and Saturn Outlook are just some of the current SUV’s that are four star rated. Currently there are no five star rated SUV’s.
This is an incredible improvement within the automobile industry since each year; more than 10,000 motorists are killed in rollover accidents. That’s just 3% of all crashes, but one third of all fatalities. If you have been a victim of this type of crash call us for expert advice or contact us at www.allenflatt.com.
Some major factors that are responsible of rollover accidents are preventable, such as, excessive speed, alcohol consumption and knowing the proper maneuvering limits of your vehicle. Until now, the vehicle type has not had many viable options. Taller, narrower vehicles such as SUV’s, pick-ups and vans are more susceptible to rollovers because of their high centers of gravity.
One new technology that is responsible for these new safer cars is Electronic Stability Control or ESC. It is available in many new automobiles, and it will prevent or drastically reduce your chances of vehicle rollover. Mercedes Benz was the first auto maker to utilize this anti-rollover technology back in 1995, but now 86% of all SUV’s have this technology in their 2007 models. This is up from only 43% in 2005. By model year 2012, ESC will be required by law to be installed in all new vehicles. Projections for lives saved are between 5,000-10,000 per year.
ESC uses automatic braking of individual wheels to prevent the heading from changing too quickly so the driver can keep the car steady. If you are in the market to buy a new car this year and would like to incorporate this new technology in your purchase, please read a free NHTSA publication entitled, “Buying a Safer Car 2007”. You may read a pdf version online at the above website or order a copy by calling 888-327-4236.
In addition to the other new safety regulations that were due on September 1st, all automakers are now required to have tire pressure monitoring systems in all vehicles. Improperly inflated or worn tires can be very dangerous, especially on rural roads. Almost 75% of all rollover crashes occur in rural areas.
Lastly, a few driving safety tips to avoiding rollovers:
· Always use a seat belt · Maintain correct tire pressure · Load vehicle properly · Avoid panic-like steering · Use caution on rural roads