WASHINGTON — Nine of 11 crossovers earned "advanced" or "superior" ratings in a new test of pedestrian crash avoidance systems conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The ratings are a response to the recent rise in pedestrian deaths. In 2017, there were 5,977 pedestrian fatalities, a 45 percent increase since reaching their lowest point since 1980 in 2009, according to U.S. Department of Transportation data.
The 2018-19 Honda CR-V, 2019 Subaru Forester, 2019 Toyota RAV4 and 2019 Volvo XC40 responded the best in re-creations of an adult pedestrian entering the road from the right, a child darting into the street from behind two parked cars and an adult walking in the vehicle's travel lane near the edge of the road. The BMW X1 did not meet any of the test parameters and was not rated.
IIHS plays an important role in the deployment of advanced safety features because automakers compete for the group's annual Top Safety Pick, which can influence a consumer's buying decision. IIHS also tests front crash prevention systems, headlights and rear crash prevention systems.
The institute will include pedestrian crash prevention ratings as part of the criteria for the 2020 Top Safety Pick awards, spokesman Joseph Young said in an email.
Vehicles were scored according to their average speed reductions in five repeated test runs on dry pavement at speeds ranging from 12 mph to 37 mph. Only the Forester and RAV4 avoided hitting the dummies in every perpendicular test. IIHS gives credit in the 37 mph parallel adult test to systems that issue a timely warning (greater than or equal to 2.1 seconds time-to-collision), upping the odds of a driver response.