Experienced Attorney Serving Victims of Car Accidents across Rhode Island and Massachusetts
Motor vehicle safety is a prominent issue in the United States today, as automobile crashes are responsible for a fair amount of injuries and death each year. Consumers make various demands of automobile manufacturers, who in turn must respond to those demands and alter the design of their products to conform with the desired product. Unfortunately, as Rhode Island personal injury attorneys understand all too well, the relationship between the various demands is often give-and-take. Producing an automobile that possesses certain qualities may detract from certain other characteristics. For example, recent energy woes and increasing fuel prices have created a large market for smaller, more efficient vehicles. However, it is worth understanding what consumers give up by opting for a smaller vehicle. Some studies suggest that there is a link between vehicle size and safety.
The International Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, is partnered with the Highway Loss Data Institute, or HLDI, and is
an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from crashes on the nation’s roads … [which] shares and supports this mission through scientific studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles and by publishing insurance loss results by vehicle make and model.
IIHS has created a generous online library which consumers can use to research vehicle. IIHS crash test results show various safety statistics based on specific makes and models. Further, IIHS research demonstrates the correlation between vehicle size and weight and safety, stating
[O]ccupants in a bigger, heavier vehicle are better protected than those in a smaller, lighter vehicle. Both size and weight affect the forces people inside a vehicle experience during a crash. The magnitude of those forces is directly related to the risk of injury … [and d]river death rates calculated by IIHS illustrate the real-world advantages of bigger, heavier vehicles.
Rhode Island car accident attorneys advocate consumer awareness regarding issues of automobile safety. Recent technological advances make it possible to reduce the size of vehicles while still maintaining a high level of crashworthiness, however it is ultimately up to the consumer to ensure that he or she seeks the appropriate education as to how safe a vehicle is prior to purchasing a car.
If you or your loved one was injured in a car accident, contact our offices to learn how an experienced attorney can help you!