Tuesday, January 03, 2006

SUV's no safer than cars for kids

From Forbes:

Despite the public perception that SUVs are safer than passenger cars for family driving, a new report shows the bigger vehicles are no better at preventing children's injuries in accidents.

"Many people just assume that the extra weight and size of an SUV makes them safer, but what we found was that the potential benefits were canceled by the SUVs' increased likelihood of rolling over," said study co-author Dr. Dennis Durbin, an emergency room doctor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"The message for parents is that SUVs are no safer, and that they should know the importance of ensuring that their children are properly restrained for their age on every trip in the car."

In their review of car crashes involving nearly 4,000 children from infancy to the age of 15, Durbin and his colleagues found that rollovers occurred twice as frequently in SUVs as passenger cars, and that children involved in rollover crashes were three times more likely to be injured than children in crashes not involving rollovers.

Further, the children who weren't appropriately restrained in SUVs in rollover accidents were at a 25-fold greater risk for injury compared to appropriately restrained children in the SUVs. And nearly half of these unrestrained children suffered serious injuries, compared to only 3 percent of the children who were properly restrained.


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