Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) releases a list of the safest automobiles. The list for 2020 is unique because it focuses on certain safety features that the IIHS has never considered before ─ specifically those designed to protect pedestrians and passengers.
The IIHS focused on these features in the hopes that more automotive manufacturers will create and implement structural and design changes, as well as continue to include more technology in their vehicles, with the goal of improving safety for everyone.
Added Testing for Safety
Although the IIHS included pedestrian safety features in its list last year, that was not a main focus of its testing. This year, the testing did center around pedestrian safety. The shift came as crash statistics showed that from 2009 to 2018, the number of pedestrians killed around the country in crashes with vehicles jumped more than 50 percent.
In order for a vehicle to be named as one of IIHS’ top vehicles, the model must offer front crash prevention systems that scored well in vehicle-to-pedestrian accident prevention during the institute’s testing.
In addition to pedestrian safety features and testing, the IIHS also conducted passenger-side small overlap crash tests. These tests, which previously had focused on the driver’s side, mimic the accidents that occur between the front passenger corner of a vehicle and another object, whether it is a tree, utility pole, or a vehicle, and then analyzed how well the vehicle performed.
Which Cars Were Top Picks for Safety?
Already the new standards are having an effect as manufacturers begin to take notice and change their designs. The Ford Escape, which was given a rating of Poor last year, now shows a Good rating on this year’s list.
Other vehicles that were given top picks for safety included Mazda models and Hyundai, which had the most Top Safety Pick Plus awards and the most awards overall, respectively. A full list of the institute’s safest cars is available on its website.
Even with Vehicle Safety Improvements, Drivers Have Duty to Be Safe
The new safety systems being implemented in vehicles are certainly good news, as they are likely to make our roads safer for passengers and pedestrians. However, the truth is, even with these new safety features, people can still be seriously hurt when a driver chooses to behave dangerously.
Injured in a Crash? Call Our Texas Car Accident Lawyers
Although vehicles undergo rigorous testing and have new safety features implemented within them every year, crashes still happen. If you have been hurt in a car accident and someone else was at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses.
At Ketterman Rowland & Westlund, our San Antonio car accident lawyers can help you demand the justice you deserve. Contact us today to arrange a free consultation with one of our respected auto accident lawyers.
Douglas D. Ketterman is the originator and founder of Ketterman, Rowland & Westlund where he currently serves as President and Managing Shareholder. Douglas has extensive experience in handling all types of civil litigation. He graduated with honors from St. Mary’s School of Law in 1989 and has been Board Certified as a Specialist in Personal Injury Trial Law since 1998 by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.