Small cars fail IIHS rear-passenger crash tests

Small cars fail IIHS rear-passenger crash tests

We would like to think that cars have become the safest they have ever been. Add in the advent of the driver security support technician for an extra level of security. But all this technology is for preventive measures. It’s up to automotive engineers to design a vehicle that performs well enough in a crash to survive its occupants. For the rear occupants of certain popular small cars tested by IIHSthat might not have been enough.

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The IIHS conducted a frontal overlap crash test – which sees a vehicle being struck from the front driver’s side – on five small car models: Honda-Civic, Toyota Corolla, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentras And Subaru Crosstrek. The results were not good.

Small Cars Wobble in Updated Moderate Overlap Crash Test – IIHS News

While the Civic and Corolla barely received “acceptable” overall ratings, the Forte, Sentra, and Crosstrek received “poor” overall ratings. Looking at the results, you see where these cars failed. Almost all performed well in crash areas such as head, neck, chest, knee and thigh protection. But each had poor ratings for rear-occupant crash protection. Basically, if you have to sit in the back of one of these cars, don’t.

Screenshot: IIHS

For a vehicle to receive a good rating, there must be no undue risk of injury to the head, neck, chest, abdomen or thigh, as recorded by the second dummy row. The dummy must remain properly positioned during the crash without sliding forward below the lap belt, and the head must remain a safe distance from the front seat backrest and the rest of the vehicle interior. A pressure sensor on the torso of the rear dummy helps to check if the shoulder belt is not too high, which can make the restraint system less effective.

In all five vehicles, the rear dummy dug under the seat belt, causing the lap belt to slide from the hip bones onto the abdomen, where it can cause internal injuries.

In the three poorly rated vehicles, measurements taken from the rear dummy also showed a moderate or high risk of head, neck or chest injury.

The possibility of having head or neck injuries while being a rear passenger is worrying. With some of them being their brand’s top sellers, engineers may want to get to work improving rear occupant safety before things get worse.


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