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3 large sedans earn highest safety scores after crash testing

Car shoppers in North Carolina have many things to consider when picking out a vehicle, and safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offer many insights. A vice president at the nonprofit that evaluates vehicles said that large sedans provide more protection to drivers and passengers than small cars.

Three models of large sedans currently stand out in their category. The institute awarded the Lincoln Continental, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan and the Toyota Avalon with its Top Safety Pick Plus designation. These models excelled in airbag timing and seat belt tension, which contributed to their overall ability to insulate occupants from the force of crashes.

Mixed results emerged from crash tests on other large cars, specifically the Tesla Model S, Ford Taurus and Chevrolet Impala. The small overlap front test revealed a risk of exposure to injury for the driver when the vehicles hit something on the front corner on the driver's side. The safety belt on the Tesla Model S lacked sufficient strength, and the dummy driver's head hit the steering wheel in crash tests. The Impala did better, but the dummy's head still remained vulnerable. In a Taurus, the left lower leg of a driver could be exposed to force in a crash.

Outright defects in a car could expose the manufacturer to liability for the injuries of crash victims. Even the safest of automobiles, however, might not be able to shield the victims of a car collision caused by a negligent driver. A personal injury attorney could help them seek compensation for their losses through a lawsuit filed against the at-fault motorist.

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