A vehicle with a good small overlap crash test rating may protect drivers in the event of a front-end accident involving the driver side of the vehicle. But a new study found that this may not adequately protect passengers.
Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted passenger-side small overlap tests on small SUVs that have good driver-side small overlap ratings. Only one out of the seven vehicles tested received a good rating – the Hyundai Tucson. The other six received ratings of acceptable, marginal, or poor.
The small overlap crash test serves as a simulator to evaluate what happens when the front corner of the vehicle crashes into a fixed object or another vehicle.
The small overlap tests focuses on the driver side because all vehicles have a driver, according to the IIHS. Therefore, automakers focus on improving driver side safety because that is the side the tests are conducted. Now, the results from this recent study, along with the IIHS’s consideration of adding passenger-side ratings to Top Safety Pick qualifications, may encourage vehicle manufacturers to focus on passenger side protection too.
Results of the Passenger-Side Small Overlap Tests
So, which vehicles did the IIHS evaluate in its passenger-side small overlap tests?
|Vehicle||Driver-side test||Passenger-side test|
|2016 Hyundai Tucson||Good||Good|
|2015 Buick Encore||Good||Acceptable|
|2015 Honda CR-V||Good||Acceptable|
|2015 Mazda CX-5||Good||Acceptable|
|2014 Nissan Rogue||Good||Marginal|
|2014 Subaru Forester||Good||Marginal|
|2015 Toyota RAV4||Good||Poor|
According to Becky Mueller, the IIHS senior research engineer who led the study, there were over 1,600 right-front passenger deaths in frontal crashes in 2014. With so many innocent people killed in these accidents, the IIHS is determined to make manufacturers aware of the dangers.
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