As reported by Reuters, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found only six seat and head restraint combinations in 44 SUV models earned good ratings for whiplash protection. None of the restraint systems in 15 pickup models posted good marks. Excerpts from the report:
“Manufacturer advertising often emphasizes the rugged image of SUVs and pickups. However, the institute’s evaluations show seats and head restraints in many models wouldn’t do a good job of protecting most people in a typical rear impact in everyday commuter traffic,” said Adrian Lund, the group’s president.
Seats in only six vehicles — all SUVs — earned the highest rating in the IIHS analysis, including the Ford Freestyle, Honda Pilot , Jeep Grand Cherokee, Land Rover LR3, Subaru Forester, and Volvo XC90.
Seats and head restraints in big SUV sellers like the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4Runner and Chevrolet TrailBlazer rated poor, as did the Chevy Silverado pickup and some seats in the Ford F-150 and Dodge Dakota pickups.
Neck injuries are the most-common serious injuries reported in U.S. car crashes, accounting for 2 million insurance claims totaling at least $8.5 billion annually, the insurance group said.