The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety performs yearly test to authenticate safety ratings for all class of cars. It is an independent, non-profit agency that tests automobiles for safety during specific crashes. At the end of year 2008, the IIHS presented their report for the 2009 recipients of the Top Safety Pick Awards. This year there were 72 winners, more than double the winners in 2008 and triple the winners in 2007. The car manufacturers are getting the message that we, the consumer are expecting safer cars to be built.
The top safety pick tests a variety of automobiles, including large, midsize, convertible, small and mini cars. In addition they test minivans, SUV’s; large, midsize and small as well as small and large pick-ups. For the first time ever, winners represented every category of car. Testing cars is important but at the IIHS, they actually test vehicles according to the most common kinds of serious personal injuries and fatal crashes.
Three quarters of the 28,896 vehicle occupants who died in 2007 as passengers were from front and side impact fatal crashes. Rear end crashes, which are usually not fatal, result in two thirds of all insurance claims for injuries in all kinds of crashes. These three type of crash test; front, side and rear are performed on all of the cars.
Honda, Acura and Subaru were the big winners for 2009, due in part that they had a winner in each category. The only big loser was Chrysler which had no winners in any category. For a complete list of cars, visit www.iihs.org for full details on models, crash tests and evaluations.
If you’re lucky enough to be purchasing a new car this year, then how do you pick which car is the safest? Expert agree that first you must choose the category of car you need and then pick one with electronic stability control, (ESC), and antilock brakes-the two best safety features you can have on your car. However, ultimately the one feature that can save more lives is the simple seatbelt!
ESC was mandatory for the first time in 2009 models that were under 10,000 lbs and it is being compared to the affect that seat belts had when they were first regulated. By 2012, ESC will be standard on all vehicles. What exactly is it and has does it work to make you and family safer from personal injury?
ESC uses a computer linked to a series of sensors-detecting wheel speed, sideways motion and steering angle. If the car starts to drift, the stability control system momentarily brakes one or more wheels and then reduces engine power to keep the car on course.
For a cost of $111 per vehicle, this technology will save between 5,300 and 9.600 lives annually and prevent 168,000 and 238,000 personal injuries. Not a bad return for the auto makers!
If you have been injured in any type of automobile accident, you need guidance through this difficult process. From getting your car fixed, picking a specialty doctor for your healing and settling claims with your insurance company-all of this can be accessed through a professional personal injury attorney. But not just any attorney, pick an experienced attorney. Call Jim Ballidis at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie for a personal consultation.