The Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found the death rate for SUVs was lower than other types of cars and even the sturdy pickups that prove so popular in the country.
Previously, SUVs were judged to be one of the most dangerous because of their tendency to roll over, but the introduction of electronic stability control (ESC) in many new SUVs has cut the number of accidents involving rollovers.
The results will be good news for UK-based manufacturers Land Rover, whose range consists entirely of SUVs, mostly in 4×4 configuration.
The prevalence of ESC on new cars has led to the technology being officially recognised by the EuroNCAP safety ratings in Europe and moves to make the system compulsory on all new cars by 2014.
The latest model in the Land Rover line-up, the Range Rover Evoque, will be the first from the range to be tested using the new system.
It will be tested in adult, child and pedestrian safety tests as well as in the newest category, safety assist. This covers technology such as lane departure warnings, seat belt reminders and ESC.
All Evoque models include Electronic Stability Control as standard, leaving Land Rover confident the British-built SUV will receive a top five-star safety rating.
The Evoque will go on sale in the UK in September in three- and five-door versions and in a choice of two- or four-wheel drive configurations depending on the engine choice. Evoque prices will start from under £30,000 when it goes on sale in the UK.
The brand fared well in the IIHS study as well, with the Range Rover Sport, the smaller version of the Range Rover, coming out with a zero overall ‘death rate’ – one of only eight cars to do so.