Marasco&Nesselbush personal injury lawyers

Side-Impact Collision Safety

Side Impact

Safety on the Road Starts with the Right Equipment

As attorneys, we serve as trusted resources for our clients in various ways. From referrals to other professional advisors to fielding questions about the best schools in the area, we’re often expected to help our clients make decisions outside our specialties.

With that in mind, Marasco & Nesselbush is pleased to provide you with this list of the best and worst cars for side-impact collision safety. With technology, cars are getting safer and safer, so often, the differences between one car’s safety record and another’s are minuscule. However, the slight edge one has could be the difference between life and serious injury (or worse) in an accident.

Best Cars for Side-Impact Safety

Safety ratings are subjective and vary depending on the source. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) introduced a new, tougher side test to address higher-speed crashes that continue to cause fatalities. A ten-year study that started in 2011 found that a driver of a vehicle with a good rating in the original test is 70% less likely to die in a left-side crash than a driver of a vehicle with a poor rating. The updated evaluation uses a heavier barrier traveling at a higher speed to simulate the striking vehicle. The new barrier weighs 4,200 pounds, compared to the previous 3,300 pounds, and the barrier strikes the vehicle at a speed of 37 mph compared to the previous 31 mph. With those two changes combined, the crash produced 82% more energy. To achieve a good safety rating, the following criteria must be met:

  • Vehicle’s occupant compartment must hold its shape well during a crash.
  • Measures from dummies must not indicate a high risk of severe injuries.
  • Side bags and seat belts should prevent the dummies’ heads from making hard contact with the vehicle’s interior.

With these criteria established, here are the vehicles with a good safety rating:

2021-2022 Mazda CX-9
2021-2022 Volkswagen ID.4
2022 Ford Explorer
2022 Nissan Pathfinder
2022 Infiniti QX60
2022 Lincoln Aviator
2022 Subaru Ascent
2022 Toyota Highlander
2021-2022 Volkswagen Atlas / Atlas Cross Sport

Worst Cars for Side-Impact Safety

Just like the list of the best vehicles for side-impact collisions, a few vehicles received an acceptable or marginal rating. The IIHS did not rate any vehicles on the list with a poor rating, with a marginal rating being the current lowest rating.


2022 Buick Enclave
2022 Chevrolet Traverse


2022 Honda Passport
2022 Honda Pilot
2022 Hyundai Palisade
2021-2022 Jeep Wrangler 4-door
2022 Kia Telluride
2021-2022 Nissan Murano

This information is taken from the tests at IIHS and can be found at:

Maintaining Your Vehicle

Whether your car is one of the best, one of the worst, or somewhere in between, car selection doesn’t matter as much if the car is poorly maintained. A delayed oil change, bald tires, off-kilter alignment, or other issues could spell disaster for even the best cars.

Drivers in Rhode Island are required to register their vehicles, which includes an emissions test every two years. During that emissions test, inspectors are looking to ensure each person’s vehicle is operating within State standards in nearly fifty areas, including brakes, dashboard alert systems, and windshield wipers. These vital pieces of the car must all work together –as intended –to ensure the car operates at its safest point.

Here is a checklist of car maintenance points to hit and when to optimize a car’s performance.

Check engine lights Engine oil Transmission fluid Engine oil & filter Chassis lubrication Brakes
Tire pressure lights Coolant/anti-freeze Battery and cables Tire rotation Exteriors Cabin air filter
Headlights and tail lights Windshield wiper fluid Belts Wiper blades Coolant/anti-freeze
Wiper blades Engine air filters
Power steering fluid
Tire pressure, condition & tread

How Marasco & Nesselbush Can Help

If you are ever in an accident that is out of your control, you may need to hire an attorney. Marasco & Nesslebush consists of 15 award-winning attorneys with more than three hundred years of combined experience advocating for clients who have suffered life-altering injuries. Each case requires specific medical knowledge and an understanding of the difficulties those affected by the injury face. We know the complexities associated with proving the long-term impact that traumatic brain injuries and other serious injuries have on the lives of our clients and their loved ones.

Our 50+ person support staff of medical experts and legal professionals provides the resources necessary to enable our attorneys to support our clients through the most challenging cases. With over $100 million* recovered for our clients, we have a proven track record for resolving complex, serious injury cases while achieving extraordinary results.

*Cumulative recovery for Marasco & Nesselbush LLP clients since 1999

Contact Us

Are you an existing client?(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.