IIHS Finds Two Cars Best at Avoiding Rear Crashes

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Feb. 22, 2018—While the focus has been on preventing frontal crashes, automakers have quietly been making progress on finding ways to prevent or minimize ones from the rear as well, like those that occur in parking lots, reported USA Today.

Cross-traffic alert reduces backing crashes by 22 percent. The combination of rear-view cameras and sensors reduces crashes by 42 percent, and adding rear automatic emergency braking reduces backing crashes by 78 percent compared with vehicles with none of these features. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested six models and found two of them excelled: The Cadillac XT5 and Subaru Outback earned a superior rating from IIHS for their ability to operate safely in reverse.

Four other companies offered 2017 models that scored advanced ratings in the first "backing crash" study of its kind: BMW 5 series sedan, Infinity QX60, Jeep Cherokee and Toyota Prius.

Most car accidents occur at low speed, according to police and insurance data. Cadillac and Subaru rank highest in the study because they safely navigated the most challenging obstacle courses in reverse.

While many automakers offer rear cameras, rear sensors and beeping alerts on new cars—which notify drivers of objects in the path of the vehicle or crossing behind the vehicle—not many offer automatic braking in reverse.

It is the latter technology, specifically, that actively prevents accidents, said David Zuby, chief research officer of the non-profit organization supported by companies that sell auto insurance.

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