US: IIHS says driver death rates have incurred a spectacular drop image

After 2014 will go down in history as the year of the recall, mainly due to global auto safety crises – GM’s ignition switch mishap and Takata’s airbag inflator defect – there is some positive news for 2015.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has announced that the probability of an accident turning with fatalities in late-model vehicles has dropped by more than one third during the past three years, according to a status report revealed recently. “This is a huge improvement in just three years, even considering the economy’s influence,” commented David Zuby, IIHS executive vice president and chief research officer. Following the two major safety crises stemming from GM and Takata’s link with a total of ten carmakers have prompted an increased emphasis on vehicle safety. Last year, the US auto industry recalled more than 60 million vehicles – almost double the previous record, established in 2004.

The report also pointed out that size continues to matter, as “with some exceptions, death rates tend to go down as size goes up,” meaning smaller-vehicle segments post a varying death rate, lower than the one accounted among SUVs, for example. Additionally, with the data compiled from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and registration data from R.L. Polk & Co., IIHS found that nine vehicles had driver death rates of zero from 2009 to 2012: 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.

Via Automotive News