IIHS Evaluates Rear Crash Prevention in 6 Vehicles

If youre looking for cars with the best technology for rear crash prevention, here are some new Insurance Insitute of Highway Safety ratings to check out.

Rear Crash Prevention Ratings

IIHS engineers recently launched a new rear crash prevention rating program to see how well vehicles fare in rear-end crashes or fender benders that can amount to expensive repair bills. Rear auto brake systems took the most priority as they are designed to prevent or mitigate the kinds of everyday low-speed backing crashes that happen in parking lots and garages. The availability of parking sensors and rear cross-traffic safety alerts were additional factors.

Rating System

There are three tiers of ratings. Models with optional or standard rear crash prevention systems are rated superior, advanced or basic.

  • Superior: A vehicle must have a rear auto brake system that can avoid a crash or substantially reduce speeds in many of the test scenarios, which involve multiple runs at about 4 mph. Systems are assigned points based on the number of runs that either avoid or barely hit the target, reducing speeds to less than 1 mph.
  • Advanced: A vehicle must have rear auto brake and avoid a crash or reduce speeds in some of the scenarios.
  • Basic: Vehicles that only have parking sensors and/or rear cross-traffic alert earn a basic rating.


Here are six popular 2017 model vehicles recently tested:

  • Infiniti QX60
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Toyota Prius Hatchback

Two vehicles achieved a Superior rating, and four Advanced.

  • Superior:
    • Outback and XT5 earn when equipped with optional rear autobrake, parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert.
  • Advanced:
    • Cherokee, 5 series, QX60, and Prius earn an advanced rating with this optional gear.

Demonstration tests

To illustrate how repair costs can add up, the Institute conducted four low-speed demonstration tests with and without rear autobrake, and then tallied the damage as a claims estimator would. Scenarios included the XT5 backing into a pole and the Outback reversing into a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze. When equipped with rear autobrake, the vehicles didnt strike anything, so there was no damage. Without autobrake was a different story.

The XT5 needed an estimated $3,477 in repairs after backing into a pole. Damaged parts included the bumper cover, tailgate, hitch bar, energy absorber, rear body panel, trim and assorted brackets.

When the Outback backed into the Cruzes rear bumper, the estimated damage for both cars came to $1,899 $1,159 for the Outback and $740 for the Cruze.

Other Key Data

  • Research from IIHS and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) indicates that these technologies prevent crashes.
  • The combination of a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and rear auto brake is reducing backing crashes reported to police by 78 percent, a new IIHS study of General Motors vehicles found.
  • Rear auto brake systems from GM and Subaru also are reducing the frequency of claims reported to insurers, HLDI reported in August 2017.

You can read more about the report here and for more details check out the IIHS video below:

Photo Credit: IIHS
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