For many safety experts, auto manufacturers, and technology enthusiasts, a future without highway deaths is the ultimate achievement in auto innovation and safety. With thousands of auto accidents, injuries, and deaths each year, however, that future seems far away. According to a recent study from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), however, it may not be as far away as we think.
The study, which profiled 2011 models driven during the entire 2012 calendar year, focused on driver deaths per million registered vehicles. It found the following:
- The driver death rate fell to 28, compared to 48 three years earlier
- A record nine vehicle models had driver death rates of zero
Nine vehicle models with zero driver deaths is considered a significant achievement in auto safety. As recently as 2007, the IIHS study found no models with a zero death rate. What’s also interesting is that the list of the nine safest vehicles included a number of SUVs.
Historically, SUVs have been plagued by safety problems, including a tendency for rollover accidents. The fact that they now dominate the list of the safest cars says a great deal about innovations in safety technology, which can include electronic stability control, design improvements, blind spot detectors, back-up cameras, and more.
While the study brought good news, it also reported high rates of driver deaths in other various models, including smaller vehicles. According to the study, 19 vehicles had 49 or more driver deaths per million registered vehicles. The Kia Rio recorded the highest driver death rate at 149.
The wide gap in vehicle safety makes it clear that although driving may be safer than ever, there is still a long way to go before preventable deaths are eliminated on our roadways. Additionally, until vehicles are fully automated, it’s hard to eliminate the risks posed by negligent drivers. When negligent and reckless drivers cause preventable harm to others, victims deserve to be fully compensated for their damages.
If you have questions about your rights after an auto accident, The Daspit Law Firm is here to provide the answers you need during a free case evaluation. Contact our firm to learn more.