Redesigned Vehicles Lower Death Rates in US

By: Gertrude

A leading safety group who studies vehicle safeness said that the move of Ford Motor Corp. to redesigned one their best-selling pickup, the F-150 has reduced death rate among owners of the said truck.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has found out in a study basing on the fatalities between the years 2002 to 2005 that design changes especially in sport utility vehicles can really help in reducing death caused by road accidents. They were also able to find out that design changes have contributed to almost 30 percent drop in overall fatality rates when compared to the mid-1990s.

According to government statistics, every year more than 40,000 people are killed in United States due traffic accidents. But things are improving especially since most of the vehicle classes that have in past years obtained questionable rating in both crash and rollover tests are now exerting efforts to improve the overall safety design of their vehicles.

Likewise, the addition of safety vehicles accessories such as and others has helped a great deal in protecting passengers from serious injuries during vehicular accidents. The rate for vehicles tested between the years 1990 and 1994 was over 110 per million vehicles compared to the 79 vehicles now.

The 2001 F-150 of Ford although one of America's best-selling truck was also the worst performer in a certain front crash test for its class. But now the Insurance group was very pleased to announce that F-150 crash worthiness has been improved by Ford immensely by making the occupant compartment better able to withstand impact forces.

The group also noted a remarkable decline in death rates when it tested the redesigned 2004 F-150 model. The previous F-150 model has recorded 118 deaths per million vehicles sold during the survey period compared to the 50 reported deaths for the updated version of the F-150. These figures show the great improvement in the safety features of Ford F-150.

Despite the findings citing an improvement on Ford's F-150, the automaker still choose to reject the conclusion about the F-150 as well as the survey's overall findings. Ford also refuses to discuss the changes made on the F-150. Ford in a statement said, "We don't believe the study provides a complete and accurate reflection of relative vehicle safety performance."

Ford also added that the insurance institute did not consider factors such as seat belt use, alcohol consumption, and driving experience in their survey, which the automaker believes are important factors to take into account when it comes to auto fatalities as cited by the federal safety officials.

The surveys being conducted by the safety group on crash tests and fatality rates are backed by big insurance companies as their way of pressuring automakers to improve the safeness of their vehicles. However let us not forget that despite the fact that it is the primary responsibility of automakers to provide their buyers with safe vehicles but as car/truck owners we also have the same accountability when it comes to our safeness.

There are various types of safety car/truck accessories offered in the market like for instance a , a grille guard and many more. Although purchasing such accessories may cut a bit off the budget but in the long run especially in times of accidents you will realize that all the safety accessories you have in your vehicles are worth it.

Russ Rader, who is a spokesman for the insurance institute, noted that design changes in sport utility vehicles have them safer to use. It can be remembered that SUVs are among the most criticized vehicles by the safety groups in recent years due to its high rollover risk. Automakers to address this issue have made SUVs wider and lower plus equipped them with technology that will prevent rollover particularly in single-vehicle crashes.

The insurance group's survey has included seven SUV models in its list of vehicles with the lowest fatality rates or with fewer than 20 driver deaths per million vehicles. Unfortunately there was no US automaker included only Japanese and European manufacturers.

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