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 |  Sep 29 2011, 8:15 AM

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A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed a significant drop in fatalities involving accidents between a car or a minivan versus an SUV of comparable weight.

By comparing two sample sets, one used to record the number of crashes involving SUVs registered in 2000-2001 and another to record SUVs from 2008-2009, IIHS discovered that fatalities have decreased from 44 deaths per million registered vehicles to a dramatically improved 16 deaths per million. Only SUVs and trucks weighing between 3,000 to 3,499 pounds were recognized for the study.

Specialists have concluded that the positive findings have the continuing innovations on safety to thank. Late model cars and minivans possess more effective crumple zones, stronger structures, as well as curtain airbags. Preemptive sensors such as lane departure and blind spot warnings also improve a driver’s odds of avoiding an accidentally completely.

Newer SUVs and pickups have also lowered their crumple structures to better align with cars, allowing optimal energy absorption before violent forces from the crash enter into the passenger cabin.