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Crash tests reveal safest SUVs for passengers

Many West Virginia drivers may be thinking of buying a new SUV this year. However, studies show that some of these vehicles protect passengers better than others.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted crash tests on eight different 2018 and 2019 SUVs to see which ones offered the most protection to front seat passengers. To do this, each vehicle's right front bumper was smashed into a barrier at 40 mph, mimicking a crash into a tree or pole. The institute then rated each vehicle's performance as either good, acceptable, marginal or poor. Three of the SUVs tested received a "good" rating for their ability to shield a passenger from harm. These SUVs were the 2019 Kia Sorento, 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and 2018 GMC Acadia. Three more SUVs received an "acceptable" rating. These vehicles were the 2018 Toyota Highlander, 2018 Nissan Pathfinder and 2018 Honda Pilot.

However, IIHS gave the final two SUVs, the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee and 2018 Ford Explorer, a "poor" rating. The institute said the Explorer received this rating because "its structure was seriously compromised." The collision caused significant cabin intrusion, and the crash test dummy showed a high risk of injury to the right hip and lower left leg. Meanwhile, the Grand Cherokee sustained slightly less cabin intrusion than the Explorer, but its front airbag failed to stop the dummy's head from smashing into the dashboard, the side airbag failed to deploy and the passenger door opened, allowing the dummy to move outside the vehicle. As a result, the dummy showed a high risk of injury to the right leg and head.

When car accidents are caused by reckless drivers, injured victims have the right to file personal injury lawsuits seeking damages. A victim could have their case evaluated by consulting with an attorney.

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