Thu. Sep 21st, 2023
    New IIHS Safety Tests Highlight Minivans’ Poor Backseat Passenger Safety

    A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed that minivans are lacking in terms of backseat passenger safety. The study involved new crash tests that simulated collisions at 40 miles per hour using four different minivan models.

    The results showed that the Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Carnival, and Toyota Sienna were given a rating of “marginal,” while the Honda Odyssey received a rating of “poor.” Although the minivans performed well in protecting the driver, they all received low grades in terms of backseat safety.

    The IIHS discovered that seat belts in the backseat either exerted too much pressure on the chest or slid up during a crash, increasing the risk of abdominal injuries. The risk of fatal injury was found to be 46% higher for passengers in the backseat.

    It is important to note that SUVs and mid-size cars also failed to achieve high grades in previous research. However, this new round of tests has shed light on a previously unrecognized issue, rather than indicating that these vehicles have become less safe overall.

    The IIHS expects automakers to incorporate better belt technology in the future. They recommend implementing pretensioners and load limiters, similar to those found in the front seat belts. Pretensioners tighten the belt on the occupant, coupling them to the vehicle and helping them ride down the crash, while the load limiter reduces forces on the chest.

    By adding this technology to the back seat, vehicles can be made even safer for all passengers. Parents and other drivers alike can be assured that their loved ones are protected in the event of a collision.


    – CBS News Philadelphia (source article)