The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently updated its moderate overlap front crash test to include a new focus on rear occupant safety. The results of the test included a “Poor” overall rating for the 2021 through 2023 Chevy Equinox.
The Chevy Equinox was one of 15 crossovers tested in the updated IIHS moderate overlap front evaluation. Nine of the crossovers tested received a “Poor” overall rating, while three received a “Marginal” overall rating, one received an “Acceptable” overall rating, and two received a “Good” overall rating.
The original moderate overlap front test was launched in 1995. In the evaluation, the vehicle tested would be propelled at 40 mph to impact a barrier with a deformable face made from aluminum honeycomb. Forty percent of the total width of the vehicle would strike the barrier on the driver’s side, simulating a frontal offset crash between two vehicles of roughly the same weight, each traveling a little under 40 mph. Inside the cabin, a Hybrid III dummy was placed in the driver’s seat to represent an average-size man.
According to the IIHS, a study of real-world crashes indicates that in many cases, back-seat passengers were injured more severely than passengers up front. While automakers have added airbags and advanced seat belt systems in the front of vehicles, similar systems have not been added in the rear. The result is that for vehicles from the 2007 model year and up, the risk of a fatal injury for rear-seated passengers is 46 percent higher than it is for front-seated passengers.
To address this, the IIHS moderate overlap front test now includes a second Hybrid III dummy representing a small woman or 12-year-old child in the second row behind the driver.
In the updated test, the Chevy Equinox received “Good” ratings for the vehicle structure and safety cage, driver head and neck injury, driver chest injury, driver knee and thigh injury, and driver restraint and kinematics evaluations, and an “Acceptable” rating for the driver leg and foot injury evaluation. The Equinox also received “Good” ratings for the rear passenger thigh injury and rear passenger restraints and kinematics evaluations, but “Poor” ratings in rear passenger chest injury and head and neck injury evaluations.