Changes made to SUVs and trucks by automakers have drastically reduced the mortality rate in crashes, according to a new report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
From 2000-2001, SUVs and trucks caused 44 deaths for every million registered vehicles in accidents where the other model was a car or minivan. Essentially, the SUVs and trucks of old were posing a risk to drivers not in those vehicles. In 2008-2009, that number is down to 16 deaths - which is actually less than the average for passenger car to passenger car crashes, reports the Detroit News.
NHTSA Administrator David Strickland praised the report, saying that automakers had taken steps to ensure SUVs and trucks were safer for all passengers on the road. Changes included lowering the bumper height to align with passenger cars and installing more safety systems.
"We're not only preventing crashes, we're making those that do happen significantly more survivable," he told the news source.
Choosing a highly-rated vehicle is obviously an important aspect of vehicle safety. However, the part that many drivers overlook is keeping that vehicle safe. Regular auto maintenance and paying attention to things like tire replacement and brake repair can help ensure that your car is in tip-top shape for when you head out on the road.