Wednesday, November 6, 2013
SUV's and Auto Insurance - Is Bigger Really Better?
When asking people why they purchased their SUVs, a common response is that they feel safer driving the bigger vehicle. Yet those same people will be paying more in auto insurance. Despite the belief that SUVs are safer than smaller vehicles, they do pose significant risks, resulting in higher auto insurance rates than smaller autos.SUV sales have continued to rise despite the higher cost of insuring those vehicles and the cost of gas. The belief that an SUV is safer, is a commonly held misconception about SUVs. Sports Utility Vehicles carry with them very unique risks that have an impact on auto insurance rates, like the fact that he vehicles are heavier and taller than other autos. This weight to height ratio results in SUVs being involved in more rollovers. In fact, SUVs roll over in twice as many fatal accidents than passenger vehicles.Besides the SUVs risk to itself with rollovers, the greater height of the vehicle also poses more risk to other, smaller, cars. Any driver of a smaller car can relate to the fact that many SUV's headlights are positioned in a place that reflects directly in the mirrors of smaller cars, causing a blinding glare. Also, the height of the bumper places a higher risk of significant damage in a collision with a smaller car. A National Highway Traffic and Safety study in 1999 showed that over 5 percent of traffic fatalities in the U.S. would not have resulted in fatalities at all if the accidents had occurred with two regular size cars rather than a truck or SUV. The study went on to show that SUVs and light trucks are two times more likely to cause a fatality in a collision.Another major factor in the higher risk of SUVs in collisions has to do with the drivers themselves. Many people want to feel safe behind the wheel of an SUV, which places them higher, but also limits their ability to see smaller vehicles, but they do not know that an SUV has to be handled differently. In fact, the handling on an SUV is very different from a compact or passenger vehicle, and extra training could help keep an SUV owner much safer on the road.Since SUVs show no sign of disappearing anytime soon, it is important that SUV owners and other drivers on the road acknowledge the risk of the SUV. Remember, the best way to prevent a collision is to drive defensively. SUV owners need to keep safe driving distances and passenger car owners need to be understanding of the limited sight of the SUV driver.Still, if you are an SUV owner or considering purchasing an SUV, you will need to understand that you will pay more for your auto insurance than if you own a smaller vehicle. Make sure, though, that you do not overpay on your auto insurance. Take time to shop around to see who can offer you the best deals on auto insurance for your SUV. Take the time to look into financial stability and customer service, and find the auto insurance that will give you the best service for the best money. Then keep that great auto insurance rate by driving your SUV safely.