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 May 14, 2005
How Safe Is Your Car?
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Side impact crashes are one of the most common fatal crashes, killing nearly 10-thousand people last year.  And now, the latest crash test pits midsize cars with SUVÔŅĹs...how does your car do?  Chances are, not very good. 


The new crash tests prove what real-world fatalities have already revealed cars are no match for SUVÔŅĹs in side-impact collisions.  Of 13 midsize cars tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, only two earned good ratings the 2004 Honda Accord and the new Toyota Camry, both protected crash dummies from serious injuries, but only when the cars were equipped with side air bags.


Adrian Lund Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:


ÔŅĹThe dummies or the people, who are inside the car in a crash this severe, would have some injuries, but this would be the difference between life and death.


Without air bags, both the Camry and accord did poorly when struck with the force of an SUV.  Watch this split screen of two Honda accords, the one on the left has no side airbags. The Honda on the right does. In all, 10 of the13 cars tested were rated poor. The Mitsubishi Gallant, Hyundai Sonata, and Nissan Altima all earned poor makers so did the Dodge Stratus, Mazda 6, the Suzuki Verona, Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn l series.


The Malibu with side air bags earned an acceptable rating, but the Saturn even with its standard side airbags failed the test, the side airbag did not protect the head of the short dummies. Overall, cars with side airbags are safer, but side impact collisions between cars and SUVÔŅĹs remain among the most deadly and with more SUVÔŅĹs now on the road there is no absolute protection against the risk.

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