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3 vehicles given top safety rating by IIHS

Colorado residents looking to purchase a new vehicle may be interested in one of three cars that were given the highest rating for crashworthiness by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These vehicles were the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, the Lincoln Continental and the Toyota Avalon. Three other vehicles that were tested, including the Tesla Model S, did not qualify to receive this safety rating.

The Tesla Model S and the other two vehicles, the Chevy Impala and the Ford Taurus, all failed the small overlap front test. This particular test, which was introduced in 2012, tests the structural integrity of the vehicle's safety cage. It analyzes this through a controlled impact to the driver-side corner, simulating a collision with, for example, a telephone pole.

The crash results for the Tesla Model S were particularly surprising as CEO Elon Musk has been to tout the safety of the vehicle. According to the IIHS, the Tesla's seat belt is not strong enough. Further, the impact caused the dummy's head to move too far forward, meaning it hit the steering wheel during the collision. It was not noted if the Model S passed the other four tests designed to determine the safety of the vehicle.

If a car accident results in passenger injuries, those who were affected may have the ability to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who was determined to be liable. If an auto defect caused the injuries to be more severe than they would have been otherwise, those who were injured may also have the ability to seek compensation from the vehicle manufacturer. A personal injury attorney may assist with determining who could held liable based on the circumstances surrounding the crash and how much in compensation the injured victim may be entitled to.

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