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Side airbags protect from SUVs

Occupants of vehicles equipped with head-protecting side airbags have a better chance of surviving if hit side-on by a sport-utility vehicle according to results of crash tests conducted by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The test attempts to address the dangers that higher-riding light trucks pose. This has become a top concern of federal safety regulators and the auto industry.

The institute's side-impact testing is aimed at increasing pressure on carmakers to change vehicle designs and add safety technology says a report in today's Wall Street Journal.

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