Author: Evander Klum
The prestigious Forbes magazine has enumerated the 20 dangerous vehicles to avoid. Automotive safety experts said that the best way to determine the safety and danger risks a vehicle imposes greatly depends on the way it is configured, particularly with regards to few important aspects like side impact protection, stability control and roll-over risk that when combined provide ultimate safety in vehicular accidents like crashes significantly.
Here are the Top 20 Vehicles you should be wary of, according to Forbes magazine:
1. Buick Rendezvous
2. Ford Ranger/Mazda B-Series
3. Nissan Frontier
4. Ford Escape/ Mercury Mariner
5. Toyota Yaris
6. Hyundai Accent
7. Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe
8. Kia Rio
9. Chevrolet Aveo
10. Suzuki Reno/Forenza
11. Ford Focus
12. Jeep Liberty
13. Dodge Dakota
14. Chevrolet Cobalt/Pontiac G5
15. Nissan Xterra
16. Saturn ION
17. Chrysler PT Cruiser
18. Honda S2000
19. Toyota Scion tC
20. Mazda3 (lights can be replaced by APC lights)
With crash tests performed by the IIHS on new vehicles, they see a wide range of results concerning side-impact and whiplash protection.
"What makes a vehicle unsafe today is a lack of side-impact protection," says Rader.
"Whiplash is not a life-threatening injury but head injuries [from a side impact] are commonly life-threatening." he further stated.
Mandated to be installed in all 2009 vehicles, the side curtain airbags had been proven to increase the chances of survival in a classic "T-bone" side-impact accident. It also promotes passenger safety in cases of roll-overs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) predicts that side curtain airbags will decrease cases of fatal side-impact head injuries by 45 percent resulting to 1,000 safe lives per year.
"Side airbags designed to protect your head are crucial, because a head injury is the most common fatal injury in a crash," says Rader, "It's the difference between life and death."
Together with side curtain air bags, all vehicles need a strongly built side structure to bear strong blows from all kinds of vehicles.
As Rader points out the advantage of larger vehicles in accidents with their wider range of stability, the managing editor of Consumer Reports, John Linkov reckons that the smaller the vehicle doesn't necessarily mean the dangerous it gets. More often, smaller vehicles offer easy handling and maneuverability needed to prevent accidents. However, Rader and Linkov's thinking are not on the same angle. Rader's was more of the accident already happening and Linkov's focus was on the prevention.
Electronic stability control systems will be mandated for the 2012 model year. This system works by smartly applying the brakes on one or more of the wheels to avoid loss of vehicle control in an extreme maneuver.
"Electronic stability control is one of those rare safety features that's having a dramatic effect on saving lives," says Rader.
"Stability control alone can reduce the risk of fatal single-vehicle crashes by 56 percent. And it can reduce fatal single-vehicle rollovers by 80 percent for SUVs, 77 percent for passenger cars." Rader added.
Any vehicle can be entirely unsafe if is not properly built with important safety features. Plus if it is driven by a total reckless driver, accidents will always be on its way.
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