IIHS Crash Tests Suggest Some Giant SUVs Are Less Safe Than Perceived

The latest round of crash testing from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) focused on full-size SUVs, including the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Jeep Wagoneer. While many people believe that larger vehicles are safer, the results from IIHS testing revealed some concerning issues that prevented these SUVs from earning top safety ratings. This article will explore the findings from the crash tests and highlight the areas where each vehicle fell short in terms of safety performance.

**Cabin Deformation in Small Overlap Front Crash Test**

The primary concern identified by the IIHS during testing was cabin deformation in the small overlap front crash test. This test simulates a head-on collision where only a small portion of the vehicle impacts a fixed object. The Wagoneer earned a good rating for this test, with minimal intrusion into the footwell for the driver and front-seat passenger. However, the Tahoe received an acceptable rating, showing inward buckling of the cabin towards the bottom in both driver and passenger tests. The Expedition fared even worse, with extensive intrusion low in the passenger compartment, leading to a high risk of lower leg injuries for the driver.

**Second-Row Passenger Safety in Moderate Overlap Front Crash Test**

In addition to the small overlap front crash test, the IIHS updated its moderate overlap front crash test to include metrics for second-row passengers. None of the SUVs received a good rating in this category. The Wagoneer and Expedition were rated as marginal, with test dummies indicating a fairly high risk of chest injuries due to seat belt forces. The Tahoe also performed poorly in this test, showing a high risk of head and neck injuries for second-row passengers.

**Headlight Performance and Pedestrian Safety**

The IIHS also evaluated the headlights of the tested SUVs, giving the Tahoe a poor rating for excessive glare and lack of low-beam visibility. This could have contributed to the marginal rating the Tahoe received in the pedestrian safety test. While the automatic braking system worked well during daylight tests to avoid hitting a simulated pedestrian, it failed to slow down the vehicle at all in the dark with low beams on.

**Overall Safety Ratings**

When considering all the tests conducted by the IIHS, the Wagoneer emerged as the top performer, earning good ratings in several key categories. In contrast, both the Tahoe and Expedition struggled to meet the most advanced safety standards, with multiple areas of concern identified during testing.


In conclusion, the latest crash tests from the IIHS revealed significant safety issues in full-size SUVs, with the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Jeep Wagoneer all falling short of earning top safety ratings. The findings highlight the importance of prioritizing safety features and performance in vehicle design and manufacturing. Automakers must continue to address these safety concerns to ensure the protection of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road.

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