Side protection of Midsize SUVs

Frontal crash protection has improved for the six mid-sized SUVs tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the tests reveal significant differences in how well SUVs protect people in serious side crashes.

So I hope you find some time to read the whole story of this side crash on SUV.

Performance varied considerably in the side test that replicates a 50-km-hr crash in which the striking vehicle is another SUV or pickup, an IIHS release says.
The Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevrolet Trailblazer are equipped with standard curtain-style airbags designed to protect the heads of occupants in front and rear seats. But, unlike most cars with side airbags, these two SUVs lack additional sets of airbags to protect front-seat occupants’ chests and abdomens.
“Head protection is rated good in both vehicles, but the lack of chest protection and weak side structures that allowed a lot of intrusion contributed to high forces on the driver dummies’ chests and abdomens,” David Zuby, IIHS senior vice president, said in a statement.
While 71% of 2007 model cars come equipped with standard side airbags, only 48% of SUVs offer the added protection as a standard feature.
The IIHS tested the Nissan Pathfinder and Xterra (rated good in side impacts, but only when equipped with the optional side airbags, otherwise these models received a marginal rating); Toyota 4Runner (rated good with standard side airbags); the Ford Explorer (rated acceptable with standard side airbags); and the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevrolet Trailblazer (both received marginal scores with standard side airbags).