Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) began performing front crash tests on the passenger side of vehicles. The move was made due to a growing concern that automakers were improving protection on the driver-side of vehicles but neglecting passenger-side safety. The IIHS tested eight current mid-sized SUVs – and the results were surprising.
Though more research is needed, the overall message of the agency’s findings is that drivers should look into every aspect of an SUV before purchase. This is because one test may not provide enough information about the effectiveness of other safety features, such as:
- Vehicle structure
- Driver and occupant front impact safety
Small-Overlap Crash Test
The IIHS’s passenger-side small overlap test was designed to mimic a vehicle colliding with an object at a speed of 40 mph. The impact is limited to one quarter of the car’s front end. Vehicles rated poorly in the small-overlap crash test most often have a passenger side door that was impacted significantly enough to cause right hip and left lower leg injuries to the passenger in a real accident. IIHS has four ratings for how well a vehicle holds up in a crash test:
When the Jeep Grand Cherokee was analyzed in the passenger side small-overlap crash test, the passenger side door collapsed significantly enough to cause concern. However, the passenger dummy’s head went through the front passenger airbag and hit the dashboard. The side airbag never deployed, and the door opened upon impact, causing the dummy to fall outside of the car during rebound.
The results of the Jeep Grand Cherokee crash test suggest that passengers involved in a wreck are not only at risk of ejection but also may sustain other catastrophic injuries such as hip, leg, and head injuries.
Like the Grand Cherokee, the Ford Explorer also received a poor rating because the structure of the vehicle collapsed on impact. Measurements taken from the crash dummy indicate that in a similar real-world accident, the passenger is at risk of broken bones, or hip and leg dislocations.
The Explorer was also found to have poor structure during the driver-side small-overlap crash test. Ford has announced that newer models will have improved small-overlap protection on both sides.
Best in Passenger Protection
In terms of passenger protection, the IIHS gave the 2019 Kia Sorento, 2018 Volkswagen Atlas and 2018 GMC Acadia the highest rating. The 2018 Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, and Honda Pilot came in second with a rating of “acceptable.”
The agency urges consumers to remember that although a specific model may have received a high rating, that may not apply to subsequent models from the same manufacturer.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Passengers Injured in an Accident
No matter how or why a car accident occurred, those who suffer serious injuries or have lost a loved one need compassionate and aggressive legal representation. The Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. can handle the details, so you can begin the healing process. To ensure that you obtain the maximum compensation available, call us today at 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623, or contact us online. We provide free confidential consultations.
We represent clients throughout South Carolina, including those in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.