Recent auto industry crash tests have revealed that two well know American SUVs aren’t making the grade when it comes to certain types of impacts. Both the Ford Explorer and the Jeep Gran Cherokee have earned the worst ratings in crash testing.
The latest crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have determined that the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee were the worst among midsize SUVs. In the tests, the damage to the Ford Explorer was so severe that the structure collapsed while the Grand Cherokee and Honda Pilot showed the possibility for head injuries to occur. All were considered extremely bad results for tests of this nature.
These ratings are based on what is called a small overlap test. A small overlap is what occurs when the front corner of a vehicle strikes either another vehicle or an object such as a tree or pole. In this case the testing involved a small overlap to the passenger side of the vehicle.
According to Insurance Institute Chief Research Officer David Zuby, “although some vehicles in this group offer very good protection, in other models, the airbags, safety belts and structure showed serious deficiencies.” Zuby believes that in SUVs found to have these deficiencies, a passenger in the front seat would be at greater risk of injuries that would include head injuries as well as injuries to the hip or leg if there were a small overlap crash to the right-front of the vehicle.
Although the institute has found that while some automakers have improved safety for drivers, they have also neglected front seat passengers. These reports serve to put those automakers on notice that the institute expects the same level of protection for both driver and passengers.
Of course, there were many other vehicle’s tested, but these two SUV brands had the most outstanding deficiencies when it came to these types of impacts.