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Arnold & Itkin LLP Truck Accident Blog2016MarchWhat Is Your Car's Crashworthiness?

What Is Your Car's Crashworthiness?

The passenger in a vehicle is often in the most dangerous position. For many years, there were never airbags for side occupants. This oversight led to serious injuries and fatalities for many Americans. With improvements in vehicle safety measures and testing, airbags have been added to prevent these types of serious injuries. It’s important to be informed regarding your vehicle’s crashworthiness. It’s also important to maintain your vehicle’s safety for your protection and the protection of your passengers.

Why Do Air Bags Matter in a Truck Accident?

In many truck accidents, passengers are struck from the side. This can cause them to sustain traumatic head injuries and other damages. Selecting a car that will stand up to a heavy big rig collision is crucial to road safety. Of course, nobody wants to think they could ever be involved in a serious accident with a commercial truck. But it is still important to make sure that your vehicle is crashworthy and able to protect you and your passengers in any scenario.

What Is My Car’s Crashworthiness?

The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) have been used since the early 1970's to determine a cars “crashworthiness.” These standards have expanded to include a moving deformable barrier (MDB), which continued to improve testing accuracy. Recently, the FMVSS standards were changed to include more accurate impact angles, testing dummies, and injury metrics.

Since more and more accidents have reported injuries causing permanent or devastating brain damage, the FMVSS moved to include clearer test ratings, as well. This allows consumers to research how well their vehicle could protect their loved ones from head injuries in a collision accident. The airbags in most vehicles protect certain body parts, such as door mounted thorax bags. Other types include seat mounted head bags and roof rail mounted side airbags.

Tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

While most of the new FMVVSS testing standards are being used for newer vehicle models, another group is offering more relevant tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety began testing vehicles a decade ago, offering higher testing standards to the public.

This non-profit group uses its own side impact test rating criteria, including a specific head injury rating (HIC). Their tests simulate a truck or SUV collision, rather than a collision involving a small car. The moving deformable barrier (MDB) they use weighs 300 pounds more than the MDB that the federal government uses for its vehicle safety testing. All of these standards make tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety more rigorous and trustworthy.

Airbags Make a Difference

Most vehicles need to secure a rating below 1000 to be considered “below dangerous head injury rating (HIC).” With airbags, most vehicles maintain a rating of around 500. When the airbags are removed, the crash rating jumps between 1500 and 2500, far above the probability rate.

While airbags cannot prevent an accident or guarantee protection should an accident occur, they do serve to greatly improve the safety of passengers. That’s why it’s a good idea to insure that whatever car you buy has sufficient air bags and protection. Investigate applicable safety ratings and make a decision based on a vehicle’s crash test scores.

When to Speak with a Truck Accident Attorney

If you are suffering serious injuries from a truck accident due to a side impact collision, the truck accident attorneys at Arnold & Itkin may be able to help. With the increasing rate of truck fatalities, even the most advanced "crashworthy" vehicle cannot ensure protection. Injuries in a vehicle that is proven to withstand serious damage can prove the further negligence of a truck driver. If the accident causes drastic injuries to passengers in a highly rated vehicle, we may be able to secure more compensation for your case.

This is another reason why it is very important to maintain the safety of your car. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned truck accident lawyers.

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