Some SUVs don’t provide the same crash protection for the front seat passenger as they do the driver. At least, that’s the finding in new tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The insurance group recently put seven small SUVs to the small overlap test, specifically to test passenger-side protection, and researchers found it lacking in most cases. The test is designed to simulate a corner impact with a tree, utility pole or another vehicle.
All seven SUVs previously received good small overlap ratings when it came to driver-side protection. But only one of them, the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, performed at a level corresponding to a good rating on the passenger-side. The others ran the gamut from poor to acceptable.
You can check out ratings for the seven SUVs below.
Based on the results, the IIHS says it’s considering whether to factor passenger-side ratings in as part of its TOP SAFETY PICK criteria. It could add it the requirement as early as 2018.
“This is an important aspect of occupant protection that needs more attention,” says Becky Mueller, an IIHS senior research engineer. “More than 1,600 right-front passengers died in frontal crashes in 2014.”
For more on the new IIHS test results, check out the video below.