April 21, 2008

Mid-sized Cars Improve

“The side impact results represent a huge change from just four years ago.”

—David Zuby, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s senior vice president, comments on the significant strides several mid-size cars have made in protecting motorists in side crashes through standard air bags and improved designs.

Recent crash test results by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave top scores in front-end and side-impact crashes to the 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Aura, Dodge Avenger, Nissan Altima, Infiniti G35 and Mitsubishi Galant. The 2008 Kia Optima received the highest score in front-end tests and the second-highest score in the side test.

Zuby said 10 similar vehicles tested in 2004 without side air bags received the lowest rating of “poor” in the side tests. Only past generations of the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Malibu received the top score in 2004 when they were tested with side air bags.

Boy’s Good Judgment

“I took the wheel and had to turn the wheel on the sidewalk.”

—An 11-year-old Cleveland boy who steered a runaway school bus to safety said he took the wheel because the bus was rolling toward a semi-truck.

David Murphy told on ABC’s “Good Morning America” other children on board during the crash were “freaking out,” screaming and hollering, and he decided he had to do something.

David was among 27 students headed to a charter school when the driver stopped at a service station, pumped about $40 of fuel and went into the rest room while the bus was parked and running.

In his absence, the bus began rolling about 300 feet down a side street that swoops through an industrial area and was on a collision course with a semitrailer. David told police he first tried to pull the emergency brake. When that didn’t work, he grabbed the wheel and stopped the bus by guiding it into a bridge’s concrete support pillar.

Motorcycle Helmet Issue

“We could save more motorcyclists by requiring them to do 20 minutes of exercise per day than by requiring them to wear helmet.”

—Missouri state Rep. Scott Muschany, R-St. Louis comments on a bill endorsed by the House would make helmets optional for those who are at least 21. It needs another vote before moving to the Senate, where in past years the legislation has run into bipartisan opposition.

For decades, Missouri state law has required all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. But for years, some lawmakers have tried to repeal that because they say mandating helmets infringes on civil liberties and is an attempt by state government to protect people from themselves.

The proposed helmet repeal is again sponsored by Rep. Gary Dusenberg, a former trooper for the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Topics Missouri

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Insurance Journal West April 21, 2008
April 21, 2008
Insurance Journal West Magazine

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