Just when you thought the hype from all the self-driving vehicle hoopla was coming to a standstill for a bit, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced the release of its new “Rear-Impact” vehicle safety rating system. This new rating system will help safety-minded consumers evaluate future purchases, and help them figure out what cars or trucks are the safest when it comes to accidentally backing into other cars, people, and property.
“Let’s face it. Some days we all could use help backing up, whether that’s in a garage with pillars that obscure your view, in a crowded mall parking lot or on a busy downtown street,” says David Zuby, the Institute’s executive vice president and chief research officer. “The systems we rate in our first batch of tests will help reduce the chances of a backing fender-bender.”
A Closer Look at the Testing Process & Results
Obviously, most rear-end accidents that happen in parking lots and at slow speeds don’t typically result in serious bodily injury or fatalities. But, even minor fender-benders can be costly for the average person. For this very reason, IIHS developed this rear-crash prevention rating system to help consumers find the safest vehicles. Here are some of the program’s findings:
- Two motor vehicles earned the highest rating of superior:
- Subaru Outback wagon
- Cadillac XT5.
- Those vehicles earning advanced ratings for their optional or standard rear-collision prevention technology include:
- Jeep Cherokee
- BMW 5 series
- Infiniti QX60 SUV
- Toyota Prius hatchback.
- There are three ratings under the new rear-crash prevention system: Superior, Advanced, and Basic.
- The rear-collision prevention technology being rated includes several technologies, including sensors located in the rear that beeps and/or vibrates the driver’s seat when impact is close; a rear cross-traffic alert system that warns of another vehicle or pedestrian behind the vehicle; and rear auto-braking system that detects objects behind a vehicle already in reverse that hits the brakes, if the driver fails to apply the brakes manually.
- Vehicles performing well enough to prevent damage in low-speed collisions, and the ability to prevent injuries raises the rating performance.
- The IIHS and Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has determined that a combination of rearview cameras, rear parking sensors, and rear auto-brakes has reduced motor vehicle crashes reported to law enforcement by 78 percent.
- In its study, the IIHS has found that rear autobrake systems account for the biggest reduction in crashes.
What Cars Does Consumer Reports Put at the Top of 2018?
If you do happen to be looking for safety features in your next car, it behooves you to take a minute to look at what Consumer Reports has to say about which vehicles are the most reliable and safest on the roads. Consumer Reports rates its vehicles on four key features: road test, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety. Here’s Consumer Reports’ Top 10 Cars of 2018:
|Vehicle||Style||Features & Price|
|Toyota Corolla||Compact Car||This fuel-efficient sedan has a roomy interior for a compact car. It handled well on the road test. But, its stellar 32 m.p.g. got rave reviews. Comes standard with forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist. MSRP: $20,652.|
|Chevrolet Bolt||Compact Green/Hatchback Car||Even though it’s electric, the bolt has quick acceleration and tight maneuvering. Features 250 miles on a single charge. No mention of collision prevention package. MSRP: $38,424.|
|Audi A4||Luxury Compact Car||This luxurious looking sedan has secure handling thanks to responsive steering and minimal body roll. Comes standard with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking in the city. MSRP: $48,890.|
|Toyota Camry||Midsized Car||This family style sedan has added more style and better handling. The basic model gets 32 m.p.g., while its hybrid version get more than 47 m.p.g. in testing. Standard safety features include: forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning. Optional add-ons include blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic warning. MSRP: $26,364-$28,949.|
|Chevrolet Impala||Large Car||This sporty looking car also provides luxury and space inside. A feature-rich entertainment center, generous rear seating, and bump absorbing ride make it very popular. No mention of safety technology features. MSRP: $39,110.|
|Toyota Sienna||Minivan||This spacey minivan offers decent fuel economy and a powerful motor. Comes with several advanced safety features. MSRP: $38,424.|
|Subaru Forester||Compact SUV||These popular SUVs pack fuel efficiency. All-wheel drive comes standard. Forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking available as options. MSRP: $27,145.|
|BMW X3||Luxury Compact SUV||Features a turbo 4-cylinder engine and 355-hp. No mention of advanced safety features. MSRP: $53,745.|
|Toyota Highlander||Midsized SUV||Large enough to fit eight passengers. Improved fuel economy. All advanced safety features are standard. MSRP: $41,169-$50,875.|
|Ford F-150||Full-Sized Pickup Truck||America’s workhorse vehicle with weight reduced design and turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. Pro-Trailer Backup Assist and other safety features available. MSRP: $52,525.|
Contact a New Jersey Car Accident Attorney at Mayo Law
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1“10 Top Picks of 2018: Best Cars of the Year” published in Consumer Reports, February 2018.