March 9, 2005

Crash test results put onus on SUV drivers

Seattle, Washington – After reviewing a new study released this week confirming that small cars are no match for SUVs, property and casualty insurance company Safeco urged SUV drivers to understand their risks and take additional precautions to keep themselves and others safe on the road.

The study, released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, found that most small cars are not well equipped to withstand a side-impact crash with an SUV. Fourteen of the 15 models tested rated “poor” and two were “unacceptable”; none rated “good”.

“We see more large vehicles on the roads than ever before, so this is a growing concern, and not just for those who drive small cars,” said Safeco president Mike LaRocco. “Many people buy SUVs to feel safe on the road. But larger vehicles aren’t immune to risk. As this study points out, if you drive an SUV, you can cause greater damage to other cars. This is becoming a factor in how much drivers of larger vehicles pay for insurance.”

According to a 2002 newspaper survey of the Department of Licensing database, at least one out of every seven passenger cars on the road in Washington State is an SUV.

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