Automakers need to do more to prevent rear-passenger car injuries, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The institute conducts crash tests on vehicles to help better understand how to prevent car accident injuries and deaths.
Its longest-running crash test is called the “moderate overlap front evaluation” test, which is designed to assess the accident injury risk for passengers in the back seat of various car and SUV models. The latest round of testing included 15 SUV models – and most of them fared poorly.
The IIHS is among the first safety organizations to focus on car injuries for rear passengers.
“We’re excited to launch the first frontal crash test in the U.S. to include a rear-occupant dummy,” said IIHS Senior Research Engineer Marcy Edwards, who led the development of the new evaluation. “This is a fantastic opportunity to rapidly deliver big safety benefits by adapting technologies that we already know to be effective.”
Only two of the 15 small SUVs tested in the initial testing, the Ford Escape and Volvo XC40, adequately protected the back occupant to receive a satisfactory rating.
The Audi Q3, Nissan Rogue, and Subaru Forester are given a marginal grade, while the Toyota RAV4 receives an acceptable rating. The Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Honda HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-5, and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross are among the other nine vehicles that received a subpar rating for preventing car injuries.
Preventing Car Injuries
“The original moderate overlap test was our first evaluation and the lynchpin of the Institute’s crash testing program,” said IIHS President David Harkey. “Thanks to automakers’ improvements, drivers in most vehicles are nearly 50 percent less likely to be killed in a frontal crash today than they were 25 years ago. Our updated test is a challenge to manufacturers to bring those same benefits to the back seat. The stellar performance of the Escape and XC40 shows it’s possible.”
All 15 SUV models tested earned high safety ratings for front passengers, providing a secure interior with safeguards that keep the driver’s head from impacting the interior surfaces, and limiting the possibility of car injuries. However, the subsequent rounds of testing revealed that most of the vehicles were inadequate at protecting the back seat passenger’s head and neck, the most fragile body parts.
Until recently, the crumpling of the front of the occupant compartment was the largest predictor of survival, making passengers in the rear significantly less prone to car injuries in a frontal offset crash than the driver or the front-seat passenger. The passenger compartments of newer cars, however, are better designed to withstand accident impact. That, plus the addition of airbags for passengers in the front, but often not in the back has led to more rear-passenger car injuries.
Newer cars have passenger compartments that are better designed. Additionally, automakers have improved seat belts and added airbags for passengers in the front, but often not for those in the back. In late-model cars, belted passengers in the back seat have a nearly 50 percent higher risk of suffering car accident injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.