April 5, 2007
The Virginia based Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released a report Thursday that showed that several passenger vehicles provided either marginal or poor protection against neck injuries and whiplash.
"The problem in rear crashes is, if you're sitting in your car and its gets struck from behind, if there isn't support for your head, as your body moves forward in the seat, your neck bends backward and that's where you get some injuries," said David Zuby, Vice President of Vehicle Research.
"We see a lot of of patients after car crashes with head injuries and neck pain," said Dr. Dan Ricciardi of Martha Jefferson hospital.
No cars were actually "crashed" to find these ratings.
Zuby said, "Instead we simulate the crash test by taking the seat from the vehicle and putting it on this platform behind me, that platform then can be moved as if it were a car in a rear crash."
Of the 75 vehicles tested only 22 received a top score of good in a rear crash test at 20 miles per hour. The institute estimates neck injuries account for 2 million insurance claims a year, costing at least $8.5 billion.
Several 2007 vehicles got the lowest score of poor in the tests. The vehicles include the Acura T-S-X, some versions of the B-M-W 5
Series, Buick Lacrosse and Lucerne; Cadillac CTS, STS and DTS;
Chevrolet Aveo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Honda Accord and Fit; Hyundai
Accent, Infiniti M35, Jaguar X-Type, Kia Rio, Mitsubishi Galant,
Toyota Avalon, Toyota Corolla, and the Suzuki Forenza and Reno.
Among the top vehicles for head protection, according to the
Instituter's testing, were the Audi A4, A6 and S4; Chevrolet Cobalt,
Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego; Hyundai Sonata, Jaguar
S-Type, Kia Optima, Mercedes E-Class, Nissan Sentra and Versa; Saab
9-3, Subaru Impreza, Outback and Legacy; Volvo S40, S60, S80; the
Honda Civic 2-door and 4-door versions and some versions of the
Volkswagen New Beetle.
"There really isn't any relationship between the cost of the car and the ratings in these tests, those vehicles that we rated good ranges in price from the more popular less expensive cars to some that are more expensive," said Zuby.
For more information on these results, click on the news link section of this website.