The 2002 Ford Explorer and four other sport utility vehicles earned top ratings in a high-speed crash test conducted by the insurance industry.
But the test, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), did not examine the chief complaint against Explorers and other SUVs, according to the New York Times
: their tendency to roll over more than cars do.
Brian O'Neill, president of the institute, which is financed by auto insurers, said that 5 of the 11 new or redesigned midsize SUVs tested had received the highest of four ratings, and
none received the lowest.
He called the showing a result of improvements
in the design of SUVs, specifically their front ends and the sturdiness of their passenger compartments.