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Most Midsize SUV Rear Seats Aren’t Safe Enough In Crashes, IIHS Says

iihs overlap crash test
Midsize SUV Rear Seat Crash Safety Is Weak: IIHSIIHS / YOUTUBE

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety isn't all too impressed with the results of its new test of midsize SUVs. In the moderate overlap front impact crash test, just four of the tested SUVs earned "good" ratings in rear occupant protection. This is not what you want in a family rig.

The test involves a vehicle striking a deformable barrier with 40 percent of its width at 40 mph. It simulates two vehicles striking each other from oncoming lanes, or hitting a large barrier with substantial portion of the car. The vast majority of vehicles on sale protect the driver well enough in this test to earn a "good" rating, so the IIHS has introduced a rear-occupant safety component. A second dummy representing the size of a small woman or 12-year-old child is placed in the seat behind the driver, and the test results are based on the probability of injury of that dummy.