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I want to know if there is any advantage to buying this p articular SUV with or without a tow package. We have no intention of towing. My husband thinks that there is increased safety especially from rear-end collisions and possibly increased stability, better radiator with a tow package. We want to know fi this is story telling or has some basis in fact. thanks.

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Cherie Watters, President of Sales and Marketing at AskPatty.com Dear Jody, It is true that the Vehicle could be equipped with special equipment that may make rear end impact have less damage to your vehicle, However please read the interesting article I was able to locate about your topic. This may sway your opinion. The average person tows less than 1% of the time and according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), 25% of the people that have a vehicle equipped with a receiver hitch don�t tow a thing. So having a vehicle equipped with a receiver hitch is a huge liability when it increases your risk of whiplash by 22% - especially when women and children are already two times more likely to get injured from whiplash then men (their necks are not as strong). If you are involved in a rear end collision and you have a vehicle equipped with a receiver hitch chances are that the damage to your vehicle will be minimized. Although you may think this is a good thing, the biggest problem arises if you want to make an injury claim. Your insurance company will argue that since there is little damage to your vehicle, you could not have been injured � and that couldn't be further from the truth. For the insurance company it's a win, win situation � they don't have to spend as much money fixing your vehicle and it makes it more difficult for you because low impact crash cases are becoming increasingly more complex and harder to prove when they show little damage. You can decrease the risk somewhat by simply removing your ball mount, bike rack, cargo carrier or any other "fixed" or static (non-energy absorbing) receiver hitch product after use. It is a good first step in reducing the potential for whiplash because these products simply move the risk of whiplash outward. But the real problem still remains � the receiver hitch. The rear end collision is on the rise with all the distractions but there are energy absorbing products on the market that you can install into your receiver hitch that will soften the crash pulse and make your receiver hitch safer. Do your homework because you really cannot afford to be without one. Here are some interesting rear end collision facts: Approximately 75% of all rear end collisions are less than 10 mph. 56% of all rear end crashes are straight on. Only 14.2% of the people that hit you in the rear will miss your receiver hitch entirely. 48% of the people that hit you in the rear � are not slowing down. It is better to have under-ride than over-ride. Under-ride will give lower acceleration in the first part of the crash. Low speed rear end collisions (less than 10 mph) accentuate the whiplash more than high speed ones. 80% of all rear end collisions are caused by driver inattention. The acceleration of the occupant when hit from the rear is 2.5 times or more then that of the bullet vehicle. 94% of all rear end collisions occur on straight roads. Women are twice as likely to end up with a whiplash injury as a man. 32.1% of all fleet injuries are caused by the rear end collision. About the author: Jeff is CEO of Mohr Mfg and is an expert in rear end collisions - especially those associated with ball mounts and receiver hitches. His company manufacturers patented, portable, crash tested, energy absorbing rear safety guards for vehicles equipped with receiver hitches. These spare bumpers, ball mounts, hitch steps, and bumper shields soften the �crash pulse� to prevent whiplash and reduce rear end collision damage caused by tailgaters, uninsured motorists, bumper to bumper traffic, distracted drivers, inattentive cell phone users, drivers with poor judgment, text messengers and lousy parallel parkers. For more information visit their web site: http://www.sparebumper.com Labels: rear end collision, towing safety Hope this helps you.

Brandy Schaffels, Editor at AskPatty.com, Inc. Here is some information on how a trailer hitch can help with rear-end collisions: http://caradvice.askpatty.com/ask_patty_/2010/12/how-receiver-hitches-affect-rear-end-collision-injuries.html Installing a hitch and tow package may add weight to the vehicle that is likely to reduce your fuel economy as well. I would not want to pay the extra cost for the package and reduced fuel economy if I had no intention of towing.

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