According to a recent report published by CNBC, the Institute for Highway Safety’s October 2017 crash test results demonstrated that automakers have significantly improved passenger safety in mid-size cars. A majority of the cars tested were given a “good” rating in protecting passengers during a collision. The highest rated cars included the 2018 Subaru Outback, while some of the lower scoring cars were the Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet Malibu, which were given a “marginal” rating in passenger safety. These superior crash test results serve as a source of confidence for consumers in the 2018 car market as last year’s lackluster results made several consumers question the safety of passengers driving small SUV’s.

As stated on its website, the IIHS offers four safety ratings for reviewed cars: good, acceptable, marginal and poor. These safety ratings are determined by crashworthiness, how well passengers are protected by the vehicle in a crash and crash avoidance mitigation, the technology used to prevent or lessen the intensity of a collision. 10 out of 13 mid-sized cars examined in the crash tests received a “good” classification in protecting front seat passengers in the case of a collision. The situational evidence used to award each car a rating was a simulated crash in which the front passenger side received the majority of the impact.

The 2018 Subaru Outback and Toyota Camry both received “good” ratings and were featured in the IIHS 2017 Top Safety Pick Plus list. The Subaru Outback scored a “good” rating on almost every critical safety aspect measured by the IIHS, including roof-strength, head restraints and seats and small front overlap for both the driver and passenger sides. The only area that did not receive a “good” rating was the headlights, which scored “acceptable.” The Toyota Camry, on the other hand, surpassed the Outback with a “good” score on all aspects including a superior mention for its front crash prevention.

Both the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta and Honda Accord scored “acceptable” ratings. While the majority of the safety criteria assessed in the vehicles received a “good” score, both the Jetta and the Accord scored “acceptable” for their respective headlights functionality. Additionally, while the Honda Accord was noted for superior front crash prevention, the Volkswagen Jetta ranked lower with an “advanced” description in the same category.

On the lower end of the safety spectrum, the 2018 Volkswagen Passat and 2018 Chevrolet Malibu ranked as “marginal” in passenger protection. The Passat only scored “marginal” in passenger side front overlap, an important aspect of passenger safety, and was only noted as being “advanced” in front crash prevention.  While the Malibu also scored as “marginal” in passenger side front overlap, it was noted as being superior in front crash prevention. Both the Passat and the Malibu received a “poor” ranking in regards the headlights functionality, the lowest rating on the IIHS scale.

In the same articled released by CNBC, Becky Mueller, an IIHS senior research engineer, mentioned car manufacturers can still improve aspects of passenger safety. The improvements needed are in airbag and seatbelt safety due to allowing crash dummies too much forward motion in the event of a collision. She felt confident that these flaws could be repaired with superior engineering and design.

When considering the purchase of a new vehicle, always research safety ratings. We can help protect others and ourselves by driving cars that have higher scores of passenger safety and crash prevention. However, no matter a car’s safety rating, always pay attention to the road and be aware of surroundings. If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury as a result of a car accident, contact one of our attorneys at Hammers Law Firm today. Our legal team is dedicated to helping you hold careless drivers accountable for their actions.