Study examines safety issues in small SUVs

Florida residents who use small SUVs will likely find recent safety test results to be important. Safety experts have found that serious flaws were exposed in a tougher crash test, revealing consumer vulnerability in the event of an auto accident. The particular crash mode that is under consideration is called small overlap.

This type of accident causes about 25 percent of deaths and serious injuries during frontal collision events. While these incidents only involve a small portion of the front bumper, some manufacturer safety mechanisms can be bypassed in this type of crash. In recent testing of 13 small SUVs, only two models performed well. At the top was the 2014 Subaru Forester; the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport came in second in the testing. The vehicle that performed the worst was the Ford Escape.

The automotive industry is continually working to improve safety features in order to reduce the potential for catastrophic injuries in auto accidents. Testers noted that they expect the manufacturers will work internally to make improvements in future releases of the vehicles. Although most of the small SUVs tested performed poorly in this specific measure of safety, they have done well in other types of accident testing.

The automotive industry depends on safety ratings to help consumers make informed decisions about purchases. Major problems with automobile design and safety can lead to serious injuries and even death, and the automotive safety testing facilitates the identification of design flaws that could jeopardize consumers. As flaws are identified, manufacturers may work to improve the faulty features. However, if a consumer is driving a vehicle that has been identified as having safety issues, it is important to recognize the risk of continuing to operate that vehicle. Suffering injury or loss of a loved one through an auto accident that involved a vehicle model that has been shown to demonstrate safety flaws can be traumatic. The assistance of a legal professional who specializes in personal injury may provide the direction needed to obtain compensation for personal loss, pain and suffering.

Source: CBS News, “Small SUV study highlights safety flaws, group says”, May 16, 2013