A new study from the University at Buffalo has found that crash test scores are less relevant when a sedan is in an accident with an SUV. The study will be presented in full on May 16 at the annual meeting of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine in Atlanta.
In a head-on collision between a passenger car and an SUV, the study found that the driver of the car was 10 times more likely to die if the SUV had better crash test scores, and were 4 times more likely to die if the car had the better crash test scores.
“When two vehicles are involved in a crash, the overwhelming majority of fatalities occur in the smaller and lighter of the two vehicles. But even when the two vehicles are of similar weights, outcomes are still better in the SUVs because in frontal crashes, SUVs tend to ride over shorter passenger vehicles, due to bumper mismatch, crushing the occupant of the passenger car,” said Dietrich Jehle, MD, UB professor of emergency medicine at Erie County Medical Center and first author when talking about the study.
Taking the ratings out of the equation, the odds of death in a passenger car were seven times higher than SUV drivers in all head-on crashes. The researchers conducted the study on severe head-on crashes in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database between 1995 and 2010. Jehle went on to say that prior studies have found that cars with a rating between one and four stars have up to 36 percent more of a chance of death.
Source: University of Buffalo