The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety apparently likes it like we do — releasing the results over the weekend of the 2006 side impact crashworthiness (we didn't even make that word up!) tests, and now we're treated to 75 articles in papers across the country all saying "Study: Side Air Bags Improve Safety." Well — umm — yeah, that's true, and thank you Associated Press for your hard work in making it clear to the whole world it's better to smack your head into a pillowy cushion of air than a piece of hard industra-plasti-vinyl with metal underneath. Geez.
Oh, the results? Is that what you're asking for? Well...
...the Chevy Impala and Toyota Avalon both received "good" ratings, the Buick Lucerne and Hyundai Azera received "acceptable" ratings and the Buick LaCrosse and Chrysler 300 received "marginal" ratings — all when tested with side airbags. Of the large cars tested without side airbags, the Chrysler 300, Ford Five Hundred and Ford Crown Victoria — all received ratings of "Poor." It should be noted that when the Ford Five Hundred was tested last year with side airbags, it received a Gold Medal — so it's got that going for it.
So remember kids, side airbags save lives.
$40,000 in Protection: Audi A6, Infiniti M35 Top Frontal Crash-Test Ratings [internal]