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How Safe Are SUVs?

While buying a SUV, what are the factors taken into account? Performance, a SUV should be powerful, deft and as speedy as a sports car. Comfort, who doesn’t love a luxurious ride? A SUV must be cosy but it must also look classy and elegant. Then come features, all the latest gadgets must be crammed in there because James Bond isn’t the only one who deserves an uber cool ride! And don’t forget appearance, SUVs may be of epic proportions but a little style doesn’t hurt anyone! People look out for stylish cuts, edgy colour schemes and eye catching looks.

But amidst all these demands, aren’t you forgetting a very important aspect? Safety, yes, SUVs are big and burly but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe. In fact, they are one of the vehicles that are most prone to accidents. So if you thought that your SUV only needed to be shiny and loaded, think again, safety is a highly vital aspect when it comes to SUVs.

First, a big car doesn’t mean it is a safe car. So don’t go by the size. Next, you should know that the government conducts crash tests that determine how safe a SUV really is. Crash test ratings are a great parameter for comparing the safety standards of a SUV. The most worrisome aspect about a SUV is its propensity to roll over. SUVs have high ground clearance; this increases their centre of gravity which in turn leads to rollovers. In fact, statistics show that one third of traffic accidents have been caused by rollovers. Only in case of side collisions, SUV occupants have an upper hand because they might avoid injuries due to the height of the SUVs but in case of a rollover, only luck will allow someone to walk away unscathed.

These safety issues have prompted SUV manufacturers to come up with better designs and features. Electronic Stability Control is a feature that has brought on a great change in the world of SUV safety. ESC reduces the chance of a rollover to up to 85% and this has increased the SUV fatality rate considerably. SUVs like Honda CR-V, Ford Edge, Subaru Forester and Santa Fe are some of the safest SUVs in the market. They not only come with Electronic Stability Control but they have extra features like side airbags and curtain air bags that further reduce the risk of grave injuries.

Other safety features include seat belts in the 3rd row seats, head restraints that come with whiplash protection and multiple air bags. Another safety aspect to be kept in mind is rear visibility. Several SUVs come with rear visibility cameras that are included in the base model; hence, buyers don’t need to pay extra. Also one must make sure that the braking system is excellent and the steering is responsive. Safe SUVs are those which respond quickly, manoeuvre easily and can be handled without much effort. So don’t be deceived by the glamour of SUVs and make sure you pick your ride after thorough research.

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