Most midsize SUVs fail in IIHS rear-seat crash tests
Many people buy SUVs as their primary means of family transportation, leading automakers to equip their vehicles with technology and entertainment features for rear-seat passengers. But it looks like the next will need to invest more in rear passenger safety. According to Highway Safety Insurance Institute, “most midsize SUVs provide inadequate frontal crash protection for rear-seat passengers.” This is based on a new test to assess the crash safety of the rear seats.
Research shows that automakers’ safety innovations have focused too much on front-seat passengers. The IIHS notes that people in the back seat are 46 percent more likely to die in a crash than those in the front. This led the organization to develop a new test.
Engineers placed a child-sized dummy behind the driver’s seat and used sensors to determine if it was being acted upon by forces that could injure various body parts. Are not. Testers add paint to the dummy’s head to determine if the vehicle’s headrests provide crash protection and to gauge how well seat belts hold occupants in place. The IIHS then subjected each SUV to the standard moderate overlap frontal collision and reviewed the results.
Of the 13 SUVs tested, only four scored “Good”: Ford Explorer and Mustang Mach-E, Subaru Ascent and Tesla Model Y. The chevrolet Pass, Toyota Highlander and Volkswagen Atlas scored “Normal”, while six others scored “Poor”: Honda Pilot, Hyundai Palisade, Jeep car Grand Cherokee, Jeep car Unlimited, Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Murano.
The arrangerits rear belts move upward in impact and the SUV lacks side curtain airbags in the rear, while seat belt tension in the CX-9, Grand Cherokee, Palisade and Pilot is too high. That contrasts with the front-seat scores for most SUVs, which are generally powerful, although the Wrangler’s driver’s side airbag did not deploy during testing.
The organization is just getting started with this test, so it’s not in the ratings right now but may be available in the future. It also recently updated it side impact test at higher speeds, which greatly reduces the number of Top Safety Pick awards for 2023. At the same time, IIHS has voiced concerns about safety issues related to tram‘ heavy weight and had to update my test equipment to be effective crash test heavier cars.