The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has launched a rear crash prevention rating program which is designed to help consumers determine which vehicles offer the best technology to prevent an accident while reversing.
The program has a three-tier rating of superior, advanced or basic. The IIHS says rating are based on whether or not a vehicle has an available automatic rear braking system and how well it performs in car-to-car and car-to-pole tests at a variety of different angles. Parking sensors and a rear cross-traffic alert system are also factored into the rating but the IIHS says rear autobrake technology carries the most weight because “research shows it provides the biggest crash reductions.”
Both the Outback and XT5 earned a superior rating when equipped with parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and an automatic rear braking system. Likewise, the 5-Series, Cherokee, QX60 and Prius were given an advanced rating when equipped with the same technology.
Rear automatic braking isn’t very prevalent as the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) estimates the technology is standard on less than one percent of 2018 models and only optional on around five percent of vehicles. These numbers pale in comparison to more common systems such as rearview cameras, parking sensors and cross-traffic alert.
To showcase how beneficial the technology can be, the IIHs conducted four low-speed demonstrations with the Outback and XT5. With the rear autobrake system, both models successfully avoided a collision while backing up.
The organization then backed the models into obstacles to showcase how much money could be saved with the technology. In the case of the XT5, the crossover was backed into a pole and this caused approximately $3,500 in damage.
The Outback was backed into a Chevrolet Cruze and this caused $1,899 in damage – $1,159 for the Outback and $740 for the Cruze.