For the past few years, two things have arguably drawn car buyers to specific models: crashworthiness designs and crash avoidance systems. Indeed, crash avoidance systems may not be available on every model, but the importance of having a car designed to protect its occupants cannot be overstated. This is especially important as cars become inherently smaller in order to increase fuel economy.
However, automakers still produce “full size” vehicles, and these larger vehicles must meet rigid safety standards. According to a recent USA Today.com report, three vehicles have earned the IIHS’ “Top Safety Pick” designation.
The Toyota Avalon, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lincoln Continental all received this IIHS’ top designation. All three models hade appropriate airbag timing and seatbelt tension to help occupants survive head-on collisions. The vehicles also performed well in side impact crashes.
Three vehicles that did not receive such a designation were the Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Impala and Tesla Model S. These models did not perform as well in protecting drivers from potential injuries in head on collisions.
The IIHS grades do not necessarily mean that certain cars are unsafe, but they add some context into whether a car should be deemed defective. An automaker that fails to address known defects in a vehicle could be held liable for injuries caused by such defects. This is because an automaker has a continuing duty to use reasonable care in the manufacturing of its vehicles.
If you have questions about your legal rights and options after being injured in a defective vehicle, an experienced personal attorney can advise you.