Fewer New Vehicles Meet Increased IIHS Safety Requirements
Only 15 new vehicles meet the stepped-up safety requirements spelled out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and have earned the Top Safety Pick+ rating. According to a report on ConsumerReports.org, the stricter IIHS guidelines zero in on how well front seat passengers are protected in frontal crashes that simulate striking a tree or pole. Before this year, only the driver’s side faced this test. But, this year, the safety group included front passengers in the test as well.
More Rigorous Crash Tests
In the new test, a car traveling at 40 mph hits a metal barrier with only 25 percent of the vehicle’s front width on the front passenger’s side. This test is meant to simulate a vehicle hitting a tree or utility pole. By concentrating the force of a crash into a smaller area, this test can be particularly revealing when it comes to showing how the vehicle’s cabin structure absorbs a severe impact.
IIHS officials said in a statement that they decided to put front passenger seats to the test as well because drivers expect their passengers, often family members, or dear friends, to be protected as well. They are hoping that making the criteria more stringent will motivate automakers to ensure that front passengers are protected just as well as drivers are.
The brands that passed this more rigorous testing were Toyota, Hyundai and Subaru. Toyota has the most models, 10, among the ranks of Top Safety Pick and Safety Pick+. Hyundai came second with nine vehicles represented and every Subaru except the BRZ sports coupe earned an IIHS safety award. To qualify for the Safety Pick+ status, a vehicle must score at least a Good rating for headlight illumination and a Good or Acceptable rating for front passenger-side safety tests.
Picking the Right Car
Consumer Reports recommends that if you are in the market for a new car, it’s a good idea to know and understand how crashworthy your vehicle is. This means that you get a better handle on how well your car and its safety features such as airbags and seat restraint systems can protect you in the event of a car accident.
As auto defect lawyers who represent the rights of injured victims and their families, we hope the raised standards do motivate more and more automakers to put safety ahead of profits and make their automobiles safer for consumers.