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Crash-Test Data Linked To Death Rate According To U.S. Insurance Group Says

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On: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 9:03AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Crash-Test Data Linked To Death Rate According To U.S. Insurance Group Says

As long as there have been cars on the road, there have been analysts busy compiling statistics about everything that has to do with the automobile. Obviously, the most important set of statistics to examine are those involving accidents, crashes and motorists fatalities. The goal with any of these studies is to find ways to minimize  accidents and increase the safety factor in automobiles. You can thank these very same statistics for all the safety features in your automobile, including basic safety equipment such as, seatbelts and airbag deployment systems.

For years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been the government agency in control of collecting data and releasing it to the public. This is also the group which is on the frontline of any recall action. Based upon the statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was able to back up the findings regarding impact crash results. These two agencies might sound like they’re the same entity but the NHTSA is government run while the IIHS is a private entity working on behalf of car insurance companies across the county. With this new study, the insurance industry is basically saying you can trust what the government says when it comes to rating a car.

In a review of the most recent test results, drivers of the Hyundai Accent, the Chevrolet Aveo, and the Dodge Caliber were found to be at greater risk of being involved in a fatal accident, based on the low performance of their side-impact safety features. When the NHTSA rated an auto with a “good” for side-impact safety, then those drivers had a 70% chance of not being involved in a fatal accident as opposed to those cars rated as “poor”, which is the group’s bottom rung rating.

“This was our first look at how our ratings correlate with actual crash data since we started side tests in 2003, and the numbers confirm that these are meaningful ratings,” David Zuby, the Insurance Institute's chief research officer, said.

When you consider that in the United States alone 27% of deaths in passenger vehicles that occurred in 2009 involved side-impact crashes. The insurance group was pleased to announce that 78% of all new cars and trucks have achieved the “good” rating. Compare that with only 1/3 of cars getting that rating in the first two years of the side-impact testing and you can see improvements have been made.


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