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IIHS tests seat belt reminder system, most of them give poor results

The Highway Safety Insurance Institute just finished the first round of seat belt reminder reviewand it didn’t go well. Subaru is the only manufacturer to receive a full “Good” score on some of its cars, as every other vehicle tested failed to achieve this mark.

Total, IIHS tested 26 cars for this first set. The new rating scheme classifies seat belt reminder systems into the same groups as for crash test: Good, Acceptable, Marginal and Poor. The requirements for earning a “Good” rating are a bit complicated to explain, so we’ll paste the IIHS explanation below.

“To be considered good, the seat belt reminder system must generate an audible and visual warning signal on the dashboard display, the top console or the center console while the vehicle is in motion. shifting at least 6 mph and the system detects an unbuckled occupant in one of the front-seat positions or the unbuckling of a previously locked second-row seat belt.

“Along with other specifications, the warning sound must be loud enough to be heard over the ambient noise in the car cabin. If the front row occupants’ seat belts are still unfastened, the visual and audio prompts must last at least 90 seconds. If the previously knotted second row belt is not knotted, the prompt should last at least 30 seconds. A visual indicator that appears when the driver starts the car is also a must for the second row of seats.”

If a vehicle meets all of the front-row seat requirements, but not any of the second-row requirements, that vehicle will automatically be downgraded to “Acceptable”. If a vehicle has an audible warning for the front passenger that lasts for at least 8 seconds, but fails to meet any and all other requirements, that vehicle will receive a “Margin” rating. Finally, any vehicle with a warning shorter than 8 seconds is automatically rated “Poor,” regardless of whether it passes other tests or not.

Hopefully it all makes sense. Almost all vehicles with a “Poor” rating receive such a score because their audible warning lasts less than 8 seconds. Meanwhile, Subaru is the only manufacturer that meets all the stringent IIHS requirements, as both rise and forester passed the tests. The IIHS has not tested other Subaru models, but Subaru has made it clear that it supports IIHS’s efforts in this area.

Thomas J. Doll, Subaru of America CEO said: “Subaru supports IIHS’s resounding efforts to push the industry to achieve higher levels of vehicle safety and protect occupants. ,” Thomas J. Doll, CEO of Subaru of America. “We are happy to hear Go up and forester received the highest ratings for their new show. ”

IIHS is introducing this new seat belt test because its research showed that more frequent and noticeable warnings to fasten seat belts lead to more seat belt use. Ultimately, the IIHS suggests that better seat belt reminders could reduce 1,500 road deaths each year, as the safety system encourages people who don’t normally wear seat belts to do the same. so.

“Most Americans wear seat belts, especially in the front seats. But small numbers don’t lead to many deaths,” said IIHS president Dacid Harkey. “Nearly half of drivers and front-seat passengers killed in crashes in 2019 were not wearing seat belts.”

The IIHS suggests that most vehicles that earn a “Poor” rating on this test can easily be elevated to a “Border Class” through simple software changes. Extending the duration of the audible alert would do the trick, and it won’t require any new hardware from the manufacturer.

If you want to see the complete list of vehicles that have been tested and their scores, it can be found this.

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