It is worth wondering whether the popularity of sport utility vehicles has taken a hit after the latest crash safety tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Essentially, only two of the midsize SUVs tested received a “good” rating. The remaining vehicles received either a “fair” or “marginal” rating when it came to protecting passengers in a gauntlet of tests.
The IIHS has changed its testing regimen, as well as its rating system. In order to receive the best ratings, vehicles must perform well in all six of the crash tests administered. They must also incorporate some type of crash avoidance system that alerts the driver of imminent hazards, or automatically applies the brakes.
With these protocols, only the GMC Terrain and the Chevy Equinox received favorable ratings. Both were redesigned for 2014, and the IIHS praised their strong front ends and the way drivers were protected in different crashes.
The IIHS prides itself on pushing the envelope and challenging auto manufacturers to make safety a continuing priority. Indeed, the tests administered did not identify any defects (for vehicles that did not receive favorable ratings), but continuing innovations to keep car occupants safe is always beneficial.
Nevertheless, a good crash safety rating does not absolve a negligent driver of his or her liability in a crash. If it can be proven that a driver failed to use reasonable care while behind the wheel, and such a failure was the proximate cause of an accident, those injured in the crash can seek compensation.
Source: ABC News.com “Only 2 midsize SUVs get top rating in crash tests,” Tim Krisher, April 8, 2014