The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently wrecked a Chevrolet Equinox and really liked what happened.
14 mid-size utility vehicles were put through IIHS’s small-overlap frontal crash test. Only the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain received the highest rating of ‘Good’. (While the Chevrolet Equinox was the only vehicle tested, it and the Terrain share the same design features.) For the 2014 models, the front structure and door-hinge pillars were modified.
- Good (or Acceptable) rating in small overlap crash test
- Good ratings in four other occupant protection tests
- Basic or higher rating for front crash prevention.
Of the other tested models in the small overlap test, one received an ‘Acceptable’ rating and all others received ‘Marginal’ or ‘Poor’ ratings. That’s a little scary to us.
A frontal crash is the most common collision resulting in fatalities so the small-overlap test is designed to be difficult to pass. It replicates what happens when the front driver’s side of a vehicle collides with another car or with a stationary object. Like when your teenager hits a light pole in the mall parking lot or a tree jumps out in front of them.
IIHS’s front crash test is designed to avoid the crumple zone which typically absorbs the crash impact. Since its not absorbed by the front end crumple zone, the energy from the crash reaches the passenger cabin, resulting in injuries to the occupants.
During the small-overlap test, the car travels at 40 mph toward a five foot tall barrier. 25% of the car’s width strikes the barrier on the driver side. A dummy sits in for the driver to replicate an average size man. Since passengers move both forward and sideways in a crash, some airbags and seatbelts find the test challenging.
Got 9 seconds?
See what happens during a small-overlap crash test.
Got 120 seconds?
Hear from directly from IIHS why the Equinox and Terrain got the highest rating. Includes lots more crashing!
Needless to say, Gjovik Auto does not recommend anyone perform their own crash tests. We’re just happy to know that our customers will be safer should a traffic accident happen.
But the mall’s light pole may not fare as well.