My mom had a penchant for big GM cars when I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s. They’re safer she said. It certainly seemed logical enough.
A lot of my friends feel the same way about SUVs. After all, the more metal around you the better, right? That would be true if some of these huge vehicles weren’t prone to rolling over, reports The Associated Press via The Washington Post.
It seems that children are about equally safe in either a passenger car or an SUV, according to the study published in the journal Pediatrics. “We’re not saying they’re worse or that they’re terrible vehicles,” Dr. Dennis Durbin tells The Post. “We’re challenging the conventional wisdom that everyone assumed they were better.”
I’m not sure why researchers were that surprised; Consumer Reports has been warning of rollover dangers for years. It’s partly why we favored the Odyssey Minivan over an SUV.
If you search the web for the safest cars you will find one thing is definite: few people agree on what constitutes a safe car. One useful list might be at Informedforlife.org. They seem to have a pretty good system for calculating risk.
Of 2006 models (pdf), the safest 10 are:
- Acura RL 4-DR w/Side Airbags + w/ESC (Electronic Stability Control)
- Ford Crown Victoria 4-DR w/Side Airbags
- Lincoln Town Car 4-DR w/Side Airbags
- Mercury Grand Marquis 4-DR w/Side Airbags
- Volvo S80 4-DR w/Side Airbags + w/ESC
- Nissan Quest Van w/Side Airbags (Van) + w/ESC
- Acura MDX 4-DR w/Side Airbags + w/ESC (SUV)
- Ford Five Hundred 4-DR w/side airbags
- Mercury Montego 4-DR w/side airbags
- Chrysler 300 4-DR w/Side Airbags + w/ESC
Cars at the bottom of the 2006 list include:
- Honda Insight 2-DR
- Toyota Scion xB 4-DR Station Wagon+ w/ESC
- Mazda B-Series 2-DR (PU)
A number of cars were left off the list because of insufficient data.
Our car, the 2005 Odyssey, came in ninth for its year, so I guess my mom would be proud. Besides, I like knowing my kids are as safe as possible.