Fifteen of 17 booster seats introduced in 2012 earn the top rating of BEST BET from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, evidence that more than ever, manufacturers are designing seats to provide good safety belt fit for booster-age children.
The improvements mean that BEST BET boosters now outnumber seats in any of the three other categories for the first time since the Institute released its inaugural booster ratings in 2008. Boosters are supposed to improve how adult lap and shoulder belts fit children so the belts can properly restrain them in crashes. BEST BET boosters correctly position belts on a typical 4-to-8-year-old child in almost any car, minivan or SUV.
A group of moderately priced midsize cars outperformed most of their luxury counterparts in a challenging new frontal crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on 2013 models. Of the 18 midsize family cars evaluated in the small overlap test, two earn the top rating of good, 11 earn acceptable, three earn marginal, and two are poor.
In contrast, just 3 of 11 midsize luxury and near-luxury cars evaluated in the inaugural round of small overlap tests earned good or acceptable ratings. Midsize moderately priced cars are the second group to be tested. The best performers in this group are the Honda Accord 4-door and Suzuki Kizashi. Both earn a good rating.
The 2014 Subaru Forester is the first vehicle to ace every aspect of the challenging small overlap front crash test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Forester, the only 1 of 13 small SUVs to earn an overall rating of good in the test, and the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which earns acceptable, are the latest vehicles to qualify for the Institute’s recently inaugurated top honor, TOP SAFETY PICK+. Each of the other 11 SUVs earns either a poor or marginal rating.
A new test program by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the performance of front crash prevention systems to help consumers decide which features to consider and encourage automakers to speed adoption of the technology. The rating system is based on research by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) indicating that forward collision warning and automatic braking systems are helping drivers avoid front-to-rear crashes.
Twenty-two vehicles earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest safety award for 2014, TOP SAFETY PICK+, thanks to a high level of protection in crashes and the availability of front crash prevention technology to avoid many collisions in the first place. An additional 17 earn TOP SAFETY PICK by meeting the crashworthiness criteria alone.
IIHS is using new criteria for the awards this year. TOP SAFETY PICK requires good performance in the Institute's moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and, for the first time, good or acceptable performance in the small overlap front test introduced in 2012. The same level of performance in those tests, along with at least a basic rating for front crash prevention, is required for the higher accolade, TOP SAFETY PICK+.
The aluminum-body 2015 Ford F-150 crew cab swept the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s full slate of crashworthiness evaluations to qualify for a 2015 TOP SAFETY PICK award. The F-150 extended cab turned in a good performance in 4 of 5 assessments but stumbled in the small overlap front test. The results are the first ratings for large pickups in a group the Institute is evaluating this year.
The F-150 crew cab, which Ford calls the SuperCrew, earns good ratings for occupant protection in all five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations. The extended cab, or SuperCab, earns good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations but just a marginal rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash.
Nearly 50 vehicles meet tougher criteria for 2016 to take home the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s TOP SAFETY PICK+ award, earning good ratings in all five IIHS crashworthiness evaluations and an advanced or higher rating for front crash prevention. An additional 13 models qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK.
The baseline requirements for both awards are good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a standard or optional front crash prevention system. The 48 winners of the “plus” award have a superior- or advanced-rated front crash prevention system with automatic braking capabilities. These vehicles must stop or slow down without driver intervention before hitting a target in tests at 12 mph, 25 mph or both. Models with a basic-rated front crash prevention system, which typically only issues a warning and doesn’t brake, qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK.
IIHS inaugurated TOP SAFETY PICK in the 2006 model year to help consumers home in on vehicles with the best safety performance. The TOP SAFETY PICK+ accolade was introduced in 2012 to recognize vehicles that offer an advanced level of safety.
Three out of seven large pickup trucks evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in a new round of crash tests earn an acceptable or higher rating for occupant protection in a small overlap front crash.
IIHS evaluated two body styles of each 2016 model-year pickup — crew cab and extended cab. Crew cabs have four full doors and two full rows of seating. Extended cabs have two full front doors, two smaller rear doors and compact second-row seats.
IIHS last year decided it would test the two most popular variants of large pickups instead of just one after discovering that the Ford F-150 extended cab lacked structural countermeasures that helped the crew cab earn the top rating of good in the small overlap test. The test replicates what happens when a vehicle runs off the road and hits a tree or pole or clips another vehicle that has crossed the center line.
Ford improved the 2016 model F-150 SuperCab to clinch a good rating in the small overlap crash test, up from the 2015 model’s marginal rating. The F-150 is the only large pickup in the latest test group to earn the Institute’s top rating in the test. It joins the F-150 SuperCrew in earning a 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK award when equipped with Ford’s optional basic-rated forward collision warning system.
Vehicles that earn a basic rating for front crash prevention plus good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK. To qualify for 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
Think “muscle car” performance, and images of speed and power are more likely to come to mind than crash tests and safety ratings. Because no one buys a sports car to drive in the slow lane, the best all-¬ around occupant crash protection is crucial. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently put a trio of iconic sports coupes through their paces, and unlike more sedate sedans, none earns the scores needed to clinch a TOP SAFETY PICK award.
IIHS evaluated 2016 models of the Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang in the full battery of crashworthiness evaluations. The Mustang comes closest to earning TOP SAFETY PICK, while the Camaro falls shortin one category and lacks an available front crash prevention system. The Challenger is most in need of improvement.
To qualify for TOP SAFETY PICK, vehicles must earn good ratings in the small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint evaluations and have a basic-¬rated front crash prevention system. To qualify for the Institute’s highest award, TOP SAFETY PICK+, vehicles must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests and an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.
Drivers of vehicles with good small overlap front ratings from the Insurance Institute from Highway Safety can expect to be protected well in a frontal crash involving the left corner of the vehicle. But how would the passengers sitting next to them fare in a right-side small overlap crash? A new study shows that good protection doesn’t always extend across the front seat.
The Institute conducted 40 mph passenger-side small overlap tests on seven small SUVs with good driver-side small overlap ratings. Only one of the vehicles, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, performed at a level corresponding to a good rating, and the others ran the gamut from poor to acceptable.
The results have prompted IIHS to consider instituting a passenger-side rating as part of its TOP SAFETY PICK criteria.
To view the multimedia release go to:
Not a single small SUV out of 21 tested earns a good rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s headlight evaluations, and only four are available with acceptable-rated headlights.
Among the 21 vehicles, there are 47 different headlight combinations available. More than two-thirds of them are rated poor, making this group of vehicles even more deficient when it comes to lighting than the midsize cars that were the first to be rated earlier this year.
Headlight performance in today’s vehicles varies widely. Government standards are based on laboratory tests, which don’t accurately gauge performance in real-world driving. The issue merits attention because about half of traffic deaths occur either in the dark or around dawn or dusk.
As with midsize cars, the IIHS evaluations of small SUVs showed that a vehicle’s price tag doesn’t correspond to the quality of headlights. More modern lighting types, including high-intensity discharge (HID) and LED lamps, and curve-adaptive systems, which swivel in the direction of steering, also are no guarantee of good performance.
Drivers of late-model pickup trucks are likely to find themselves squinting into the darkness or temporarily blinding other drivers, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's latest headlight ratings show.
All four small pickups evaluated are available only with headlights that earn a poor rating. The same goes for 3 out of 7 large pickups. Only one large pickup, the Honda Ridgeline, is available with good-rated headlights, though all but the most expensive trim levels come with poor ones.
Pickups are the third vehicle category to be put through the IIHS headlight evaluations. Midsize cars were the first in March, followed by small SUVs in July.
IIHS launched its headlight ratings after finding that government standards based on laboratory tests allow for huge variation in the amount of illumination headlights provide in on-road driving. In the Institute's evaluations, engineers measure how far light is projected from a vehicle's low beams and high beams as the vehicle travels straight and on curves. Glare from low beams for oncoming drivers also is measured.