Crash Test IIHS Ford Ranger Chevrolet Colorado Toyota Tacoma Jeep Gladiator Nissan Frontier (IIHS)
Vans are struggling to protect passengers sitting in the back, according to a new series of crash tests conducted by the IIHS.
The test included the Jeep Gladiator and Ford Ranger already sold in Israel, the Chevrolet Colorado that is expected to arrive, the new Toyota Tacoma that is expected to arrive in parallel imports and the Nissan Frontier, all in a "crew cab" version, what is known in Israel as a double cabin, with a full rear seat behind the driver's and passenger's seats.
"Our updated moderate overlap front crash test has proven challenging for pickups," said IIHS President David Harkey. "A common problem was that the head of the test dummy simulating a backseat passenger came dangerously close to the back of the front seat, and in many cases, the dummy measurements indicated a risk of neck or chest injuries. All these things tell us that the seat belts in the rear need improvement."
Previous tests in the series:Danger in the back seat:
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SUVs don't protect your kids enough
Jeep Gladiator. Reasonable risk of neck and chest injuries to rear seat occupants (Photo: IIHS)
None of the five vans tested received a maximum rating of "good." Nissan Frontier was rated "plausible," Ford Ranger was rated "borderline," and Chevrolet Colorado, Jeep Gladiator and Toyota Tacoma all received "poor" ratings. The Colorado was a 2022 model, the others 2022-2023, with the Jeep testing the pre-facelift model, which is supposed to improve its performance in protecting its occupants, among other things.
The IIHS launched the updated front moderate overlap test last year after research showed that newer vehicles now have a higher risk of fatal injury for rear strapped passengers than for those in front. It's not because the back seat has become less safe. Instead, the front seat has become safer thanks to improved airbags and advanced seat belts, rarely available even to rear occupants. Even with these developments, the rear seat remains the safest place for young children, who may be injured by front airbag swelling.
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Chevrolet Colorado. The seat belts at the rear allowed the dummy dummy head to get too close to the back of the front seat (Photo: IIHS)
To encourage manufacturers to improve rear seat protection, the updated test adds a test dummy in the rear seat behind the driver. The driver's doll is the size of an average adult male. The back doll is the size of a small woman or a 12-year-old boy.
For a vehicle to qualify for a "good" rating, there must be an excessive risk of injury to the head, neck, chest or hip. The puppet in the second row should remain in the correct position during the crash without sliding forward under the knee belt (or "dive"). The head should also remain at a safe distance from the back of the front seat and the rest of the vehicle. A pressure sensor on the torso of the rear dummy dummy is used to check if the shoulder belt is too high, which can make the restraint system less effective.
Toyota Tacoma. Slightly higher risk than others of injuries to the driver's legs (Photo: IIHS)
As in the original test, the cabin structure must maintain adequate survival space for the driver, and measurements taken from the driver's dummy should not show an excessive risk of injury.
All five vans provided good protection in the front seat. However, measurements indicated a slightly higher risk of leg injuries in the gladiator and tacoma.
Nissan Frontier. Received the highest but mediocre overall score "acceptable" (Photo: IIHS)
In Colorado, Frontier, Ranger and Tacoma, the seat belts in the back seat allowed the dummy doll's head to get too close to the back of the front seat. This was not a problem for the gladiator. However, it is not equipped with a side airbag, which increases the risk of injury from a serious impact to the interior of the vehicle.
In Ranger, the rear puppet dived under the knee belt, causing the belt to rise from the ideal position on the pelvis to the abdomen, increasing the risk of internal injuries.
Tests of the rear mannequin indicated a reasonable risk of neck and chest injuries in Colorado, Gladiator and Tacoma and a moderate risk of chest injuries in Ranger.
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