Safety ratings for all three major vehicles in the U.S. have plummeted in the last three years as the industry has struggled to cope with the spread of grizzly bears and the threat of wildfires.
A study published in the journal PLOS ONE last week found that the average annual average ratings for U.P.
Vs in the Midwest, West, and Northeast dropped by 6.4 points, 6.7 points, and 9.3 points in the three years ending in 2016, respectively.
The ratings fell from an average of 6.8 in 2011 to an average rating of 5.4 in 2016.
In contrast, the ratings for cars fell by just 4 points.
The study used vehicle ratings data from three U.K. insurance companies, and the average rating for the three car categories for the past three years was 6.5.
The average ratings were a combined 7.2 for the four-wheel-drive category and 7.4 for the hybrid category.
The analysis is based on the U in England and Wales, which covers all of the U, U.A.E., and U.N. member states.
The report also found that overall vehicle ratings dropped by 0.2 points over the three-year period, and that there were no changes in ratings for the top-tier, five-wheel drive, and six-wheeler categories.
However, the two categories for which ratings fell the most were the two- and four-wheels, and ratings for four-axle SUVs fell by 1.3 and 0.5 points, respectively, in 2016 from a year earlier.
In contrast, ratings for SUVs were stable across the board, the report said.
For the five-axles, rating dropped by 1 percentage point, for the hybrids by 0, and for four wheels by 0 percentage points.
“The trends over time are clear, with ratings of four wheels falling by 1 and four wheels being the lowest they have been in over two decades,” said Michael Belsky, a professor at the University of Michigan and co-author of the study.
“The three-axis ratings of SUVs and four wheel SUVs both remain the lowest since the 1980s.
They are the lowest ever for vehicles with four wheels.”
The findings highlight a fundamental problem with the ratings system: They are based on historical ratings of the industry, which are difficult to measure objectively.
“There are lots of people that have done this analysis and they haven’t found any significant differences,” Belsker said.
“That means they’re not really showing any change.”
In the U!
The data from the three insurers that provide ratings to insurance companies were collected between 2014 and 2020.
The study did not examine the industry’s ratings in 2017.
The researchers also did not include ratings from companies that do not provide ratings.
The three insurers said the study’s methodology is rigorous and does not favor ratings that are more conservative.
“We’ve had to go through years of rigorous peer review and data collection and analysis before we are confident in the accuracy of the ratings,” said Mike Friel, senior vice president and chief financial officer at AAA.
“AAA does not provide the ratings used by insurers.”
The researchers did not find any changes in vehicle ratings across the U., though the decline is not statistically significant.
The rating changes reflect the increase in grizzly bear activity in the past several years, which has pushed some car manufacturers to introduce hybrid and electric models that have lower vehicle ratings.
“This is what’s causing the ratings to decline,” said Dr. Jonathan Mazzarella, a senior scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
“These are people who want to drive hybrids or electric cars and want to keep the ratings low.”
The report comes as carmakers are scrambling to respond to the threat posed by the grizzly and fires.
“It’s a matter of the future of these industries,” said Friel.
“And in a climate where there’s a lot of pressure on insurance companies to deliver high ratings, I don’t think we can take it for granted that these ratings will be there for the long haul.”