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 |  Jun 12 2011, 4:06 PM

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has confirmed what all of those Ford Explorer drivers thought all along: SUV drivers are least likely to die in a crash.

But all that mass is dangerous! What about all those rollovers? Well, with the advent of electronic stability control (already mandatory on U.S. cars) to prevent the sort of rollovers that plagued the Explorer all through the 90s, the SUV now has the least driver death rates among car types. Size does matter, it seems, and despite modern advances in safety, small cars are still perilously dangerous.

The death rate for SUVs is half that of cars, says the report. The number of SUV drivers killed fell 66 percent in between model generations, from 82 per million vehicles in 1999-2002 to 28/million in 2005-2008. ”The rollover risk in SUVs used to outweigh their size/weight advantage, but that’s no longer the case, thanks to ESC,” said Anne McCartt, the IIHS’s senior vice president for research.

Enthusiasts may decry stability control and SUVs in general, but it’s something we’ll have to admit: the two make for a pretty safe combination. And unlike Richard S. Foster’s prediction, we didn’t even have to sacrifice our MGBs. Hopefully.

[Source: Inside Line]