A recent safety test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested driver- and passenger-side crashes with seven popular small SUVs. All seven vehicles received the highest rating for the driver’s side, but only one achieved that rating for the passenger side.
The IIHS crash test was conducted at 40 mph and observed both head-on and side crash scenarios. Vehicles were given a rating for driver and passenger sides at one of four levels: Good, Acceptable, Marginal and Poor.
Ratings for each vehicle are as follows:
- 2016 Hyundai Tucson – Good driver side, Good passenger side
- 2015 Buick Encore – Good driver side, Acceptable passenger side
- 2015 Honda CR-V – Good driver side, Acceptable passenger side
- 2015 Mazda CX-5 – Good driver side, Acceptable passenger side
- 2014 Nissan Rogue – Good driver side, Marginal passenger side
- 2014 Subaru Forester – Good driver side, Marginal passenger side
- 2015 Toyota RAV4 – Good driver side, Poor passenger side
“This is an important aspect of occupant protection that needs more attention,” Becky Mueller, an IIHS senior research engineer and the lead author of the study, said in a recent media release. “More than 1,600 right-front passengers died in frontal crashes in 2014.”
Based on this data, the IIHS is considering including a passenger-side rating in its Top Safety Pick criteria. This change could be implemented as early as 2018. Hopefully the testing also prompts small SUV manufacturers to look more closely at passenger-side safety.