Entries in Automobiles (2)


SUVs, Pickups Less Deadly to Car Passengers

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- SUVs and pickups aren’t as deadly to passengers of cars and minivans as they used to be, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

“Until recently, SUVs and pickups were more likely than cars or minivans of the same weight to be involved in crashes that killed occupants of other cars or minivans,” the nonprofit research group said in a statement Wednesday. “That’s no longer the case for SUVs, and for pickups the higher risk is much less pronounced than it had been.”

The group reported that in 2000-01 among 1 to 4-year-old vehicles weighing 3,000-3,499 pounds, SUVs were involved in crashes that killed car/minivan occupants at a rate of 44 deaths per million registered vehicle years. But by the end of the decade, the rate had dropped by nearly two-thirds.

Researchers say improved crash protection in the cars and minivans, including the addition of side airbags and stronger support structures, is one reason for the improvement. Later-model SUVs and pickups were also designed with smaller vehicle impacts in mind -- their front-ends have been better aligned with the energy-absorbing structures of cars.

Designs prior to about 2005-06 mismatched cars and SUVs/pickups, resulting in accidents where larger vehicles would ride up over the smaller ones, causing more trauma to passengers.

“By working together, the automakers got life-saving changes done quickly,” says Joe Nolan, the Institute’s chief administrative officer and a co-author of the new study. “The new designs have made a big difference on the road.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Cities With the Worst Traffic Nightmares

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(PORTLAND, Ore.) -- For years we have been hearing about the notorious traffic jams of Los Angles, the worst in the nation. But now a new study is saying hold on -- Nashville, Tenn., actually has the worst traffic, and L.A. is all the way down the list at number 17.

Today's new report, backed by supporters of non-car based transportation, suggests that traffic engineers have been looking at congestion problems wrong for 25 years. The problem with traffic isn't just congestion but the total distance that people have to travel. So cities with suburban sprawl -- such as Nashville, Oklahoma City, Birmingham, Ala., Richmond, Va. and Raleigh, N.C. -- top the list.

The report, by a group called CEOs for Cities, was written by a Portland, Ore. firm and paid for with the help of the liberal-leaning Rockefeller Foundation. The group calls it a "dramatic critique of the 25-year-old industry standard created by the Texas Transportation Institute's Urban Mobility Report, often used to justify billions of dollars in expenditures to build new roads and highways."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio