Side impact crash protection improves.

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Drivers of vehicles that perform well in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's side-impact crash test are much less likely to die in a real-world left-side crash than drivers of vehicles that do poorly, a new analysis finds. The study includes only passenger vehicles with side airbags, demonstrating that airbags, while crucial, are far from the whole story in side crash protection. After controlling for driver age and gender and vehicle type and weight, a driver of a vehicle rated good for driver protection in a side impact is 70 percent less likely to die in a left-side crash compared with a driver of a vehicle rated poor. A driver of a vehicle rated acceptable is 64 percent less likely to die, and a driver of a vehicle rated marginal is 49 percent less likely to die.

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