The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a new car safety test to reveal the dangers of front-corner impacts. The test showed that, without added safety features, such a crash would likely cause injuries or possibly death.

The insurance group tested several high-end cars to see how well they protected drivers and passengers when the car’s front corner hit another car or object. According to experts, luxury cars should generally perform better than other cars on the market in a crash test. Unfortunately, the results were not positive.

Of the 11 cars tested, all 2012 models, only three passed the test. The Volvo S60 and Acura TL both received “good” ratings. The Infiniti G also passed the test with a rating of “acceptable.” However, “marginal” ratings were given to the Acura TSX, BMW 3 Series, Lincoln MKZ and Volkswagen CC. The worst performing cars in this test were the Audi A4, Lexus ES 350, Lexus IS 250/350 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which were all rated “poor.”

An impact to a car’s front corner can cause the front wheel to smash into the car. This may severely injure a driver or front passenger’s legs or feet. Experts say these types of crashes contribute to the 10,000 deaths caused by frontal crashes each year. The insurance group hopes the new rating will force manufacturers to make cars safer when this type of impact occurs.

Cars could be made safer by creating a passenger safety cage that would hold up better in a front-corner crash. Currently cars are more protected from crashes that involve a head-on impact. It may take up to a decade for all car manufacturers to figure out how to perform well in this safety test.

If a driver experiences an injury after a front corner crash, they may pursue a personal injury claim against a negligent motorist. Additionally, if a vehicle’s flawed design contributed to their injuries, the car manufacturer may also be liable. A personal injury attorney can provide further information about potential claims.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, “Many cars flunk new type of crash test,” Jerry Hirsch, August 14, 2012.

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