A recent research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed surprising findings regarding the safety of several car models.
The institute is a car safety laboratory funded by several key insurance companies to study the safety and roadworthiness of the cars that Americans drive.
According to many experts, the IIHS treated and tested different car models, sedans and coupes alike, as one. Popular brands like the Ford Focus and the Honda Civic, which have coupe and sedan makes, were often assumed as a single car model. In recent years, however, the institute has taken to testing coupes and sedans separately.
Insurance companies usually rely on the data provided by the institute to gauge the roadworthiness and safety of many policyholders’ vehicles. A car considered by the IIHS as having high safety standards can result in lower insurance premiums. Vehicles at the lower portion of the spectrum can expect to yield higher insurance costs for their owners.
The recent safety study conducted by the institute bore some interesting results. For instance, the tests showed that coupes performed differently from their sedan counterparts. Ford’s 2009 Focus coupe was awarded with the safety agency’s Top Safety Pick rating despite the sedan version earning an “Acceptable” safety rating. The 2009 Honda Civic four-door sedan, on the other hand, was considered as the institute’s Top Safety Pick rating while its coupe version garnered an “Acceptable” rating.
Several car models were put to the test, namely: Ford Focus coupe and sedan, Volvo C30, Scion tC, and Honda Civic coupe and sedan. All of the cars tested performed to expectations with none receiving failing marks for safety.
David Zuby, the IIHS Senior Vice President, says that the recent findings prove that ratings given to sedans in the past do not necessarily apply to coupes of the same car models. Zuby, however, believes that the safety features available to four-door models have been carried over to their coupe counterparts. All of the vehicles tested featured side-airbags as standard safety equipment. The institute official says that this is good news for many consumers and car owners.
Industry experts contend that the tests may affect how insurance providers rate cars. Because of the new data from the study, insurers will have to assess the safety and roadworthiness of car models with both coupe and sedan versions differently. This can be either good news or bad news to car owners. Motorists who drive coupes or sedans rated as excellent can enjoy lower premiums while weaker-performing vehicles can lead to higher insurance costs.