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What’s Safer in an Accident: Is an SUV Safer than a Car or Sedan?

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If you have been involved in a an SUV or car accident in the Tampa Bay area call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.
Car verses SUV Saefty

What’s Safer in an Accident: Is an SUV Safer than a Car or Sedan?

As a Tampa Injury Attorney, I always say that “in the battle of the bulge” the big one wins.  But is an SUV safer than a car?  When shopping for a car, people usually compare crash-test ratings. Whether from the government or insurance industry, crash-test scores provide valuable insight into the occupant protection a car provides. But this does give the entire picture.

For instance, the front-crash scores simulate striking a same-sized vehicle. What happens if you hit a larger, heavier, or taller vehicle? Results from a new study being presented by researchers at the University of Buffalo reveals the impact of your car-buying decision.

While the laws of physics dictate that in a crash between mismatched vehicles, the lighter one takes the brunt of the impact, this study shows just how unequal the contest is.  Yes, the big one usually wins, but there is more.

Many families who select an SUV over a sedan do so because they feel that they’re safer driving higher off the ground. And, according to a recent research study, SUVs have been shown to be much safer than sedans. In fact, an SUV driver or passenger is at least 50 percent more likely to survive a car crash without suffering serious injuries than an individual riding in a sedan.

Studies have shown that sedans are safest in a crash if it involves two similarly-sized ones. The same doesn’t appear to be the case with SUVs though. Even if they’re comparable in size, they’re likely to crush one another. This is, in turn, likely to lead to more catastrophic injuries.

Researchers note that SUVs are particularly well-equipped to protect kids. That’s because, unlike the minivan that is lighter and has a lower center of gravity, the SUV is higher up and reinforced to be able to handle impact. This is particularly important given that SUVs are involved in accidents on more frequently than sedans.

Unfortunately, though, if the driver of a sedan becomes involved in a crash with an SUV driver, he or she is not very likely to survive it. In fact, researchers with the University of Buffalo recently analyzed a series of head-on crashes between a single sedan and an SUV. They found that the sedan’s driver was nearly 8 percent more likely to be killed in the crash than an SUV driver.

But what about rollovers? SUV drivers have a much higher risk, though, of being killed in rollover accidents. Also, because SUVs have a higher center of gravity, they’re more likely to be involved in accidents due to wind or weather.

Now on a personal note, as a Tampa Injury Lawyer I interview and investigate between 400 and 500 car accidents a year.  In 2017, we investigated 486.  Of those 486, 14 involved a rollover type accident.  Fewer than 3%.  Of those of rollovers 9 were SUVs and 5 were sedans.  Of those 5, 2 were struck by SUVs.  This is consistent with the numbers NHTSA found in a 2000 study.

In 2000, NHTSA did a study and found only 3 percent of all passenger vehicles involved in crashes were rollovers, but rollovers accounted for 20 percent of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes.

Make your own conclusion as to the numbers, but the point to me is that SUV are at a greater likelihood of a rollover, but a rollover is still

Researchers emphasize that those looking to buy SUVs should focus on the active safety options they offer. Some examples of these include blind-spot cameras, automatic braking and traction control systems.

At the same time, they note that buyers of sedans should focus on passive safety features. Some examples of these include sizable crumple zones, airbags and variable seat belts.

Car vs. SUV Head-on Crashes

In car vs. SUV head-on crashes, the study found that the odds of death were 7.6 times higher for the car driver than the SUV driver. In crashes where the car had a better front crash-test rating than the SUV did, the car’s driver fared a bit better but was still four and a half times more likely to die than the SUV driver.

As a Tampa auto accident (car accident) attorney, I have looked at various studies and found Access Magazine’s article easiest to understand.  The study looked at information from severe head-on crashes in the government-managed FARS (Fatality Analysis Reporting System) database. In particular, the authors were looking to see what role car-type played in the outcome and how reliably crash scores predicted survival. The data sample included 83,251 crashes.

The researchers concluded that at least for head-on crashes, the vehicle type is more important than the crash-test rating in predicting survival. It’s correct that you can’t assume that a good crash-test score is some sort of guarantee. But there is more to choosing a safe vehicle than simply picking a big one.

Front crashes account for about half of all passenger vehicle deaths on American roads, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Based on its analysis, the Institute says overall “…a driver of a vehicle rated Good in the moderate [front] overlap test is 46 percent less likely to die in a frontal crash, compared with a driver of a vehicle rated Poor. A driver of a vehicle rated Acceptable or Marginal is 33 percent less likely to die than a driver of a poorly rated one.” In other words, ratings do matter.

Choosing an SUV for safety isn’t an automatic win, as their higher center of gravity makes them more prone to rollover, an often fatal event. Electronic stability control (ESC) substantially reduces rollover risk, and we highly recommend it when shopping for a used vehicle. ESC has been mandatory since the 2012 model year and was widespread for several years before then. It is telling that most of the 6,800 occupants killed in rollovers in 2010 were not wearing seat belts, suggesting that many of those deaths were easily preventable. (Learn more in “Rollover 101.”)

How to choose a safe car

Just because a big, heavy vehicle has the advantage in a head-on with a smaller, lighter one, it doesn’t mean that lighter vehicles are unsafe. In truth, they’re safer than ever and overall traffic fatalities are near their all-time low. But do choose a vehicle with up-to-date safety equipment, such as antilock brakes, curtain air bags, and stability control. And choose one that has performed well in the various government and insurance industry crash tests. It should also have done well in the Consumer Reports’ dynamic tests, such as accident avoidance and wet/dry braking. Even better than surviving a crash is avoiding one in the first place.

Safety considerations play an important role in Consumer Reports’ criteria for recommending any car.

After that, it is up to the driver to buckle up, stay sober and alert, and maintain a safe speed. That’s the best way to maximize your odds of survival, no matter what size car you drive.  For a good in depth article about this issue, read Access Magazine’s article on safety of SUV vs Cars.  Be sure to also buy enough auto insurance, especially Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist coverage.

Tampa Attorney Martin J. Hernandez

Attorney Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez, LLC in Tampa provides legal representation for families in auto accident injury and wrongful death cases. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys welcome the opportunity to interview with you and your loved ones. We invite you to review our recent results from settlements to trial verdicts. Our qualifications and background are available to you as well. Our Tampa Attorneys Martin Hernandez and Daniel Fernandez are bilingual as well.  Just call us at 813-229-5353 for your free consultation.

The Tampa personal injury lawyers of Fernandez & Hernandez, serve Florida communities including Tampa, Brandon, Carrollwood, Westchase, Riverview, Temple Terrace, Pasco, Pinellas, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Lakeland, Plant City, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Dover, Valrico, Lutz, Lakeland and many other neighborhoods in Tampa Bay area. Contact an Experienced Tampa Auto Accident Attorney from Fernandez & Hernandez Law.

If you have been involved in an Auto Accident in the Tampa Bay area, call Tampa personal injury lawyer Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez for a free consultation now.  We recommend also reading his reviews on Google Reviews, Avvo and Yelp.

Call Tampa Personal Injury Attorney, Martin J. Hernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353 or read more at: www.InjuryLawyersOfTampa.com

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Martin J. Hernandez, Esq.
4.9
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Dominique mason
Dominique mason
16:18 29 May 20
I had nothing but good experiences with Martin. He goes to great lengths to get the job done and makes sure you are... aware of all of your responsibilities. He will talk to you one on one and keep you up to speed. I am sincerely grateful and appreciative of his hard work and effort in my case.read more
Dustin Walker
Dustin Walker
12:56 26 May 20
Martin handled my case well. He was on top of everything and it seemed like my case went smoothly. I actually enjoyed... meeting with the doctor he referred me to. I wouldn't hesitate to refer Mr. Hernandez to anyone that needed legal help.read more
Jesse Jimenez
Jesse Jimenez
15:05 15 May 20
Martin and his team got me paid very fast. I got into an accident and 30 days later they got me more money for my car... and all the money there was and all within 30 days. These are the best injury lawyers in Tampa. Hire them and don't go anywhere else.read more
albert mckinzi
albert mckinzi
13:16 13 May 20
I am very thankful for the wonderful job that Martin and his awesome office staff did to settle a case for my grandma.... As people age, they do have trouble understanding legal matters and terminology & can get bewildered at times. They were very patient and explained everything in a way that could easily be understood. In this fast-paced world finding someone to have patience with older people shows true care for a client and their level of integrity, which means the world to us! I highly recommend them to anyone in need of his services. Our only disappointment was not knowing about him sooner. Thank you so much.read more
Luis Atencio
Luis Atencio
00:55 07 May 20
The right attorney for the right legal assistance! Definitely five stars for the great legal assistance of the... attorney Hernandez and his staff. Very knowledgeable and lavish with his time, I feel very satisfied with his assistance as well with the help of his assistant Sofia, which led to a satisfactory results on my case.read more
Valerie Anderson
Valerie Anderson
18:17 28 Apr 20
First I want to say Thank you Mr Hernandez for your service in our community. I truly recommend Martin for your legal... needs. My Mom had a case pending when she passed.not re Not related to the accident but Martin went over and beyond to make sure me and my brothers was compensated. Keep up the good work Mr Hernandez we ruly appreciate you.read more
Jinnifer Stanley
Jinnifer Stanley
15:39 07 Apr 20
I was in a car accident and like some people weren’t sure how to handle it. I called a few lawyers but Mr. Hernandez... was the one who appeared to be more interested, not only as a lawyer but also as a human being. He made the process very smooth. He was a very great man and a lawyer. I am very thankful to him. I would recommend him to anyone.read more
Daniel Fernandez
Daniel Fernandez
21:18 05 Mar 20
Martin Hernandez is highly regarded lawyer and a 5 star attorney. He and his staff are on top of their game. We... highly recommend this law firm and will tell you that you will not regret hiring this law firm.read more
Liliana Alvarez
Liliana Alvarez
19:33 02 Mar 20
Martin Hernandez and Daniel Hernandez are the best lawyers ever. They helped us a lot and we got great results. Thank... you!read more
Benjamin Blevins
Benjamin Blevins
17:19 21 Feb 20
This is the best auto accident lawyer in Tampa. I was involved in a car accident and did not know what to do, who to... call, who to see, find a doctor that could help me, or even what to say. I called Martin Hernandez and he sat down with me and explained everything from beginning to end. He quickly resolved me my case and got me the most amount of money possible. When people ask me who is the best lawyer in Tampa? I always Martin Hernandez is the best auto accident attorney in Tampa..read more
dylan harper
dylan harper
17:09 20 Feb 20
Martin was able to explain my case to me very well. I got good advice on what my particular options were and an honest... assessment of what I should expect going forward. When the world is falling around you its best to ask the smartest, hardest working person you can find what to do, and then do it.read more
Carmina Wilson
Carmina Wilson
16:39 19 Feb 20
I had an absolutely amazing experience with Martin’s firm. I had incurred personal injuries as a result of a bad auto... accident. His team not only treated me with respect, but they also made me feel like I was their only client. They handled my case with an astounding amount of expertise. Martin and his team is a lifesaver.read more
Katie Gulledge
Katie Gulledge
16:43 12 Feb 20
Mr. Hernandez represented me for my car accident in March 2019 and he was able to get my maximum settlement in less... than a year! He genuinely cares and has a great team of assistants that were able to answer any of my questions through the past few months.read more
cedrick wilson
cedrick wilson
15:17 05 Feb 20
I was in an accident lately and he was suggested by a friend. He met with me in person and was very punctual. He was... very calm and determined throughout my entire situation. Overall, I was extremely satisfied and impressed with Martin in reaching very positive results. I would recommend him and his office to anyone for solid advice and bottom-line results. Thank you again!read more
Tamika Jones
Tamika Jones
22:29 06 Jan 20
My experience with Martin Hernandez has been stressful not on his part. Martin has been very patient with me when I... wanted to pull every strand of hair from my head. From day one he took time to explain the process of how this was going to be but he would be there to hold my hand all the way and he did just that. His paralegal Angela walked with and held both my hands as well during all of this. When I couldn't get ahold of Martin she would make sure he got everyone of my messages. I would use his services again and recommend him to anyone. Thanks so much for all you have done and I'm forever grateful.read more
Russell Craig
Russell Craig
20:51 19 Dec 19
Very pleased with how the case was handled. I hope to never be in this position again as it was a stupid mistake but... with the help of Martin Hernandez I didn’t even have to appear in court on my own. I highly recommend using him and his team, you wont be disappointed.read more
Nicholas Nagowski
Nicholas Nagowski
22:34 14 Nov 19
Worked with Martin in Tampa, Florida. He executed on everything he promised. A well run organization. He called me... back very quickly whenever I reached out, if not answering right away. Definitely would recommend Martin to my friends and family. Thanks again for everything.read more
Mark Lenox
Mark Lenox
16:55 14 Nov 19
I was arrested for my 2nd DUI and I've reached out to Mr. Hernandez explaining my situation. He made me feel safe... through out the whole process. He helped me and extremely happy with the result. Martin knows clearly what are the best steps to take that's why I highly recommend him to anyone.read more
Kimberly McLendon
Kimberly McLendon
02:06 14 Nov 19
Martin Hernandez and his entire staff are extremely friendly,caring,knowledgeable, and treat you like apart of the... family. I hired Martin approximately 2 years ago. My case was a complicated one. But Martin Hernandez did an absolute amazing job. I was always kept current of what was going on with my case. Anytime I called, if Martin was unavailable his hard working staff got the answers I needed. I would recommend Martin Hernandez to everyone. He's dedicated to each case. If you're looking for a lawyer who doesn't just represent you,but welcomes you like family to his firm, Here's your answer. If I could give 50 stars I would. Thank you Martin& staff for all you did. Kimberly Mclendonread more
Chuck Hermanes
Chuck Hermanes
22:21 07 Nov 19
My medical bills had been piling up long before I decided to contact an attorney, and by that time the statute of... limitations was close to ending. My friend recommended Martin Hernandez who is very knowledgeable and who saved me in my situation. My medical bills are finally taken care of because of the work of Martin and his team. From the very beginning, I have no doubt that’s why he had so many great reviews from others. And I am 100% satisfied client who definitely recommend him to anyone.read more
Kymii Plur
Kymii Plur
14:49 01 Nov 19
Martin is the absolute sweetest most understanding lawyer I have ever met. He is very knowledgeable of every situation... and will get you the money that you are deserved. His staff is amazing I love everyone there I couldn't speak more highly of all of them. I would recommend Martin and his staff to my family and anyone who is in need of an attorney don't waste your time with others go see Martin he will take care of you !read more
Gabbie Bell
Gabbie Bell
09:32 26 Oct 19
Martin is very professional, marvelous , and meet all expectations far as handling my family law case.I strongly... suggest him to anyone who is in need of the best lawyer in Florida. Finest lawyer I've ever meet and i thank him for winning my case . He'll be hired by me anytime needed.read more
Johanna Gonzalez
Johanna Gonzalez
21:17 24 Oct 19
Great service. They took my case and guided me throughout the entire process with care and kindness. Thank you!
Parker Darlan
Parker Darlan
17:27 21 Oct 19
Martin and his office were very quick to respond to our inquiry and very professional. Extremely helpful and willing to... listen to the issue and address it in a timely manner. I would certainly use him in the future.read more
Stetson Madison
Stetson Madison
21:02 27 Sep 19
He has been very helpful as my attorney and made himself available whenever I needed. There has been multiple times I... wanted to just take a deal to get it over with but he has continued to work for me to get me in the best situation possible. He is very easy to work with and passionate about helping. He is not just a great lawyer but also a great human being!read more
Louie Serg
Louie Serg
15:51 13 Sep 19
My needs were met and the firm was invested in my case and me as a person. They were easily accessible, return phone... calls and emails promptly. Aggressive, when it was require and got the job done. Martin and his staff all produced the quality of an attorney and firm that anyone would want to hire.read more
Ted Esposito
Ted Esposito
16:49 07 Sep 19
I was involved in a car accident and the first person I called was Martin. He was very understanding and made it very... easy to get the insurance claims process underway. After a year of physical therapy, my case was settled and closed. Thank you so very much!read more
Arica Schmied
Arica Schmied
18:04 20 Aug 19
Amazing attorney!! Martin Hernandez and his firm are the best you'll find. I have known Martin for years and he has... helped my sister and friends in their car accident cases. I can't say enough good things. He is very knowledgeable, kind, and will treat you like family!read more
Noah Chase
Noah Chase
08:48 19 Aug 19
Mr. Hernandez is clearly very experienced - based on my interactions with him. I look for an attorney based on... integrity and experience. I found the integrity that I was looking for with Mr. Hernandez. I would recommend his services to anyone.read more
Fabian Prentice
Fabian Prentice
18:49 13 Aug 19
Martin is an amazing attorney and was able to get all 3 charges off my record. I knew I could count on him from the... moment I retained him as my attorney. He was quick to answer any questions I had and was very reliable. My case lasted over a year and he was always keeping contact with me the whole time. I would highly recommend him if you need a criminal defense attorney.read more
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