Mid-Size Luxury Sedans Not As Safe As You May Think

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 32,000 people died on U.S. roads last year. In an effort to make cars safer, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted its own safety tests; separate from the one's regulated by the U.S. government.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that the insurance industry group found that only two of the 11 luxury sedans tested received a "good" rating on their new frontal crash test. The group says they use new luxury sedans from the likes of Mercedes and Lexus because they are most likely to be the makes and models that are equipped with the latest and greatest safety innovation.

The new test consists of what the group calls a small-overlap crash in which 25 percent of the car's front end hits a rigid barrier at 40 miles per hour. When the NHTSA performs its tests for front-end safety, they have the vehicle hit a rigid barrier head-on at 35 miles per hour. The IIHS believes its test is a more accurate way to judge the safety rating of a vehicle because the majority of fatal car accidents are a result of this small-overlap kind.

While most vehicles are designed to pass the NHTSA's testing, they performed poorly in this new experiment. In fact, one car even lost its front driver door as a result of the test's impact. If car companies know there is a flaw in their car's safety design and do nothing to fix the problem, they may be held liable in future car crashes that result in personal injuries or the death of passengers.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and would like to learn more about your rights, please visit our Bay Area car accident web page.

Source: sfgate.com, "Mercedes, Lexus, Audi Luxury Sedans Earn Poor Crash-Test Ratings," Angela Greiling Keane, Aug. 14, 2012

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