Auto accidents cause approximately 3 million injuries and 43,000 deaths annually. To protect your family, it’s important to not only drive safely but also choose a safe vehicle. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has released their Top Safety Pick award winners for 2010. For the first time, the institute considered roof strength in a rollover tests. Rollovers kill more than 9,000 people in passenger vehicles each year.
“With the addition of our new roof strength evaluation, our crash test results now cover all 4 of the most common kinds of crashes,” said Institute president Adrian Lund. “Consumers can use this list to zero in on the vehicles that are on the top rung for safety.”
Here’s the full list of all 27 winners:
Chevrolet Malibu built after October 2009
Chrysler Sebring 4-door with optional electronic stability control
Dodge Avenger with optional electronic stability control
Mercedes C class
Volkswagen Jetta sedan
Volkswagen Passat sedan
Honda Civic 4-door models (except Si) with optional electronic stability control
Subaru Impreza except WRX
Volkswagen Golf 4-door
Jeep Patriot with optional side torso airbags
Toyota did not have any 2010 safety winners, nor did BMW, Mazda, Mitsubishi, or Saab. The Toyota Camry did not qualify because of its rear crash evaluation. The Honda Accord and Ford Fusion just missed the mark because of their roof ratings.
“Honda and Ford would have to make only minor changes to achieve good ratings for roof strength, as the Accord and Fusion just missed the mark,” said Lund.
The institute found a problem with the Volvo XC60 seat belts. During the side crash test, a piece of plastic on the driver’s seat pushed a safety release button for the safety belt, causing it to detach.
“This would be a serious issue if it happened in a real crash, but it’s not likely to happen and it’s fixable,” Lund said. “Still, belts shouldn’t come loose in a crash test. Volvo is fixing the problem so it won’t be an issue with XC60 models produced after November 2009. Top Safety Pick applies only to these modified XC60s.” Owners of 2010 XC60s should see a Volvo dealer for repairs.
“In safety terms, we’ve come very far, very fast in just the past decade,” said Lund. “When the Institute began conducting frontal tests for consumer information in 1995, few vehicles earned top ratings. Now almost all do. Most cars failed the side tests we added in 2003. Test results in that initial round were so bad we nearly broke our budget for repairing the crash test dummy, but now most vehicles ace the side test thanks to side airbags and stronger side structures. Factor in improved head restraints to protect against whiplash and electronic stability control to prevent crashes, and consumers are the clear winners.”
Since auto accidents cannot always be avoided, it’s wise to drive a safe vehicle. If you’re injured in an auto accident, contact a attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation if the accident was someone else’s fault. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule your free consultation.