Midsize Modern Luxury Cars Proven Dangerous in Overlap Crashes: What You Need to Know

Posted on Aug 21 , 2012

With all of the new advanced amenities midsized luxury cars have to offer today such as heated/cooled seats, rear cameras, and automatic distance control settings for cruise control, consumers may be lead to believe that safety measures in the structure of the car are just as advanced. Results from a crash test study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) report otherwise.

This class of cars put to the test of head-on or frontal crashes sustained passenger safety overall, but overlap crashes (front corner) crashes resulted in less than favorable results. In fact, it is reported that these types of crashes currently result in over a quarter of all fatal crashes.

Why the difference in these types of crashes?

Car manufacturers, foreign and domestic, have focused so much of their attention on designing safety measures for frontal impacts only that the car is designed to take the impact of a head-on or frontal crash. With current design, the front end safety cage cannot protect the driver in an overlap, or corner crash.

What will change as a result of this study?

IIHS will push for improvements to the design of cars so that crash protection is extended to the front corners of the safety cage as well.

What modern cars ranked favorably in this study?

Only three of the 11 midsize luxury cars put through the new test passed with good or acceptable ratings. The Acura TL and Volvo S60 earned good ratings, while the Infiniti G earned acceptable ratings. The Acura TSX, BMW 3 series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC earned marginal ratings. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS 250/350, Audi A4 and Lexus ES 350 earned poor ratings. All of these cars are 2012 models.

What should I do if I am in the market for this kind of car?

The next time you are considering purchasing a midsize luxury car, be sure to research all of the safety specifications to be sure you are fully protected in the event of a crash.


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