Following a record recall in 2014, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has some news – the likelihood of driver deaths in late-model vehicles has dropped more than a third in the United States in three years. David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer, said in an institute report that the figure represents a huge improvement in vehicle safety just three years.
The heightened focus on vehicle safety has prompted the auto industry to recall 60.5 million vehicles in the US in 2014, Bloomberg reported. He noted that crash test performance has been “getting steadily better," adding that the latest death rates confirms that real-world outcomes from those tests are improving too. In terms of segments, SUVs posted the fewest deaths while smaller cars logged the most.
The report that with some exceptions, death rates tend to go down as the vehicle size goes up. IIHS used data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and registration data from R.L. Polk & Co. for its report.
From 2009 to 2012, only nine MY2011 or equivalent earlier models, had zero-percent driver deaths: the Audi A4 4WD, Honda Odyssey, Kia Sorento 2WD, Lexus RX 350 4WD, Mercedes-Benz GL-class 4WD, Subaru Legacy 4WD, Toyota Highlander hybrid 4WD, Toyota Sequoia 4WD and Volvo XC90 4WD.
The report noted that around eight years ago, no models have zero driver death rates. The report added that two-thirds of the zero-death vehicles are SUVs, while 10 years ago, these vehicle had some of the highest rates as they could easily roll over. These rollover crashes have since been mitigated by electronic stability control.