Rear crash prevention ratings aim to cut parking lot collisions

Two systems earn the highest rating of superior, and four earn the second-highest rating of advanced

June 18, 2018
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From the June 2018 print edition

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has launched a rear crash prevention ratings program to identify models with the technology to help prevent or mitigate low-speed backing crashes. Two systems earn the highest rating of superior, and four earn the second-highest rating of advanced.

Rear crash prevention encompasses several technologies, said the institute. Parking sensors issue warning beeps or seat vibrations when the vehicle gets too close to something behind it, or in some cases, in front. Rear cross-traffic alert warns of approaching vehicles that might cross their path as they back up. Rear automatic emergency braking systems detect objects behind a vehicle and may automatically brake if the driver doesn’t heed stop alerts.

The IIHS evaluated rear autobrake systems on six 2017 models: the BMW 5 series sedan, Cadillac XT5 SUV, Infiniti QX60 SUV, Jeep Cherokee SUV, Subaru Outback wagon and Toyota Prius hatchback.

Under the three-tier rating scheme, models with optional or standard rear crash prevention systems are rated superior, advanced or basic. Ratings are determined by whether the vehicles have available rear autobrake and, if so, how it performs in a series of car-to-car and car-to-pole tests with different approach angles. The availability of parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert also factored in. The Outback and XT5 earn a superior rating when equipped with optional rear autobrake, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert. The Cherokee, 5 series, QX60 and Prius earn an advanced rating with this optional gear.

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