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Virginia drivers: is your car a “top safety pick”? And what does that even mean?

Every year the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety publishes its Top Safety Pick awards list.  This list includes cars, SUVs and occasionally a minivan or two that meet strict safety requirements.  If you are concerned about vehicle safety – especially if you have been in a Virginia car crash – this list could be a valuable tool in your search for a new or used vehicle.

 

What criteria does a vehicle have to meet to be a top safety pick?

 

Vehicles recognized by the IIHS must do a great job protecting occupants from front-impact, side-impact, rollover and rear-end collisions.  Ratings are determined by tests conducted at the Institute.  Additional criteria include:

  • An electronic stability control system
  • A crash avoidance feature that significantly reduces crash risk (for example, a lane change warning system)
  • Roof strength standards that exceed federal minimum standards

 

The last item was just added by IIHS last year.  To their surprise, relatively few vehicles initially performed well in rollover testing done by the Institute.  Vehicle manufacturers scrambled to modify the roof strength on their vehicles, and as a result 66 vehicles this year made it onto the Top Safety Picks list.

 

Why do safety ratings matter to Virginia drivers?

 

If you have been in a car wreck in Virginia, you probably already appreciate the need for a safe car.  Nothing will change your perspective faster than being struck unexpectedly by a drunk motorist or by one who just was not paying attention.  The severe injuries and property damage that can result from these types of wrecks can ruin lives.  A car with the latest safety features, however, can go a long way to protecting vehicle occupants from severe injury or death.

 

Consider the statistics.  In the U.S. in 2009, over twelve thousand people died in front-end collisions, over six thousand died in side-impact crashes, and over eight thousand died in rollover wrecks.  Hundreds of thousands more were injured in accidents, some very seriously.  Insurance companies, government regulators and auto manufacturers are constantly trying to find ways to reduce motor vehicle accident deaths and injuries.

 

 

Protect your rights after a Virginia car or truck accident

 

If you or a loved one has suffered in a Virginia car wreck, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today.  You can discuss your accident case with one of our skilled, compassionate attorneys to see how we can help you secure fair compensation.

 

DULANEY, LAUER & THOMAS, LLP

 

Warrenton Office

98 Alexandria Pike, Suite 11

Warrenton, VA 20186

Toll Free: 888.907.2631

Local: 540.349.2631

 

Culpeper Office

209 N. West Street

Culpeper, VA 22701

Toll Free: 800.741.1012

Local: 540.825.6046