Within the last decade, car manufacturers have made significant improvements in the areas of driver/passenger safety and fatality/death reduction. According to the Status Report, “The chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in three years…” (iihs.org). Amazingly, as of 2015 there are currently nine vehicles with driver death rates of ZERO—eight years ago, there were NONE.
Of these nine vehicles, six belong to the SUV class. The Status Report also mentions, “A decade ago, SUVs had some of the highest [death] rates, due to their propensity to roll over” (iihs.org). New technologies such as ESC (Electronic Stability Control), however, have been created to reduce the amount of SUV rollovers, as well as improve the way in which the SUV actually rolls over (to ensure passenger safety).
One of the nine 2015 zero death vehicles (which also happens to be both a luxury brand and an SUV), the Volvo XC90 4D SUV, is my personal favorite. If not for new technologies such as ESC, an SUV like the Volvo XC90 may not have saved my life. Here is a video of a Volvo XC90 crash test. At 1 min, side-impact is tested; I was in this exact position when my XC90 was “T-boned” by a Chevy Silverado going 45 mph.
Thanks to the tremendous effort made by car manufacturers and organizations that push for the zero-death goal in cars, countless lives have been saved (and will continue to be saved); however, even as cars become safer, drivers are still putting lives in danger by engaging in risky behaviors. These include: not wearing a seatbelt, texting and driving, distracted driving, and driving while under the influence of a mind-altering substance. If drivers were to eliminate these behaviors from their driving repertoire, that zero-death statistic could become an accomplishable goal for ALL makes and models.
Here is a link to the Status Report article: http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/1/1
“Death Rates Fall as Vehicles Improve.” Death Rates Fall as Vehicles Improve. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 25 Jan. 2015. Web. 6 Feb. 2015. <http://www.iihs.org/iihs/sr/statusreport/article/50/1/1>.