Although getting behind the wheel of a car will always entail an essential
element of danger, the number of fatalities caused by
car crashes over the years has been declining. In 2006, Georgia experienced over 1,600
fatalities due to car crashes yet in 2011, 1,223 car accidents resulted
in fatalities, according to the
Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia.
Many believe this decline in fatalities is due to the fact that cars are
actually getting safer. Around the world, automobile companies and governments
are making improvements in vehicle safety at an accelerated pace. One
of the most influential forces used to heighten safety standards for cars
has been litigation and the civil justice system.
The litigation and media attention surrounding cars like the Chevy Cobalt
and the Ford Pinto have revealed previously concealed defects and regulatory
weaknesses within various models of cars. As a result, these cases are
deterring manufacturers from cutting corners on safety for the goal of
Safety Tests Promoting Improved Crashworthiness
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts a test to determine the crashworthiness of cars -- judging
cars for their roof strength and head restraint, side protection, front
crash prevention, etc. Over the past few years, IIHS has updated its safety-rating
programs, particularly in trying to encourage car manufacturers to improve
results in small overlap front crashes.
In 2012, IIHS added a frontal crash test to its regimen that replicates
what happens when a vehicle’s left-front corner hits a stationary
object or another vehicle not head on. IIHS researchers acknowledged three
strategies for enhancing occupant protection in small overlap front crash test:
- Strengthen the occupant compartment
- Add new structures to engage the barrier
- Create an additional load path for crash forces
The Safest Cars for 2015
IIHS’s new safety report shows models ranging from affordable to luxury cars are safer than ever.
The list of models with the lowest death rates illustrates just how much
vehicles have improved. Although eight years ago no models existed with
zero fatalities, today nine vehicles exist that had no driver deaths during
the years studied.
In addition, last year only 39 vehicles earned the Institute’s top
awards of Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick, but this year, over 70
car models earned these awards. Toyota, Honda, and Subaru had the most
amount of models that scored in these categories -- proving these cars
are getting safer. In 2012, the Toyota Prius v was one of the worst performers
ever in the small overlap test, whereas the 2015 model for Toyota Prius
v performed well all-around. The Honda CR-V also had some drastic modifications
since 2012’s marginal rating, adjusting the vehicle’s front-end
structure, occupant compartment, and restraint system for the 2015 model.
Some of the safest cars based on IIHS’s 2015 test for the small car
- Mazda 3
- Subaru Impreza
- Toyota Prius
- Subaru XV Crosstrek
The safest midsized cars include:
Despite the innovations that are making vehicles safer, accidents still
occur on a daily basis. If you or someone you know has been in a car accident,
reach out to an experienced
Atlanta personal injury lawyer
at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. to help you protect your legal interests.
We are prepared to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.
- Chrysler 200
- Subaru Legacy
- Subaru Outback
- Toyota Camry
- Toyota Prius v