TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Sport utility vehicles are now safer than ever thanks to improvements in stability control, which keep them from rolling over.
Experts say the death rate for SUVs has dropped 66 percent over the past decade. Local dealerships say the new technology is life-saving.
In Kirby Kimberly's six years of selling Fords, he says SUVs are now safer than ever.
"I think it is on par with a sedan," says Kirby Kimberly, with Tyler Ford.
According to a new study, those who drive modern SUVs are less likely to die in a crash. Years ago, Kirby says there was a lot of concern about rollover accidents. Today, he says that's not the case.
"A lot of safety features incorporated in these vehicles these days," explains Kimberly.
Namely, electronic stability control.
"It actually applies brakes on the appropriate corner to keep your vehicle on its intended path," says Kimberly.
Experts say technology has played a huge role in dropping the death rate in the last decade. The study shows the Ford Edge has the lowest rates of driver deaths among SUVs.
Peltier Nissan General Manager Jeff Nash says the advanced technology has built consumer confidence in SUVs.
"It just helps people get out of situations if they're having a problem as far as maneuvering or whatever. Say a deer runs out in front of you, if you have to over steer or under steer, you're going to be able to control that vehicle," says Nash.
Now dealerships hope the technical trend will carry over to smaller cars.
The study also shows that drivers of small cars are almost three times more likely to die in a collision than in a rollover.