The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) started a new safety test that rates how well the front crash prevention systems perform in a number of vehicles on the market. The purpose of this program is to provide consumers with helpful information for them to consider when choosing the car that suits them best. Additionally, the IIHS hopes that this test program will encourage automotive manufacturers to implement new crash prevention technology in their vehicles. Research done by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that forward collision warnings and automatic braking systems (ABS) have aided drivers in avoiding front-to-rear collisions. This information provides the basis for the new IIHS safety test.
Vehicles being rated on the scale established by the IIHS fall into one of the following three categories: superior, advanced, or basic. The Institute considers vehicles with standard or optional front crash prevention systems. Criteria that affects their rating includes whether or not they offer autonomous braking (autobrake), and if they do, how effective the system is when tested at 12 and 25 mph. If a vehicle can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speed in both tests, and has autobrake, it’s rated superior. If a vehicle has auto brake and can avoid a crash or reduce speed by at least 5 mph in 1 of the 2 tests, it is rated advanced. Vehicles that are rated basic must have forward collision warning systems that adhere to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations. The NHTSA only endorses systems that have been tested to issue a warning before a specified time in 5 of 7 tests in 3 different scenarios.
The first vehicles that were tested in the new IIHS safety test were moderately priced luxury midsize cars and SUVs. Of the 74 vehicles tested, all 2013-14 models, 7 of them earned the highest rating (when equipped with optional auto brake and forward collision warning systems). Those superior-rated cars are the: Cadillac ATS sedan and SRX SUV, Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedan, Subaru Legacy sedan and Outback wagon, Volvo S60 sedan and XC60 SUV.
Check back on Monday to read more about the results of the new IIHS safety test of front crash prevention systems!