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2023 Honda Accord Is the Only Mid-Size Sedan to Score Straight ‘Good’ in Rear Seat Safety: IIHS

In the updated moderate front overlap test of all midsize sedans, the Accord was the only one to earn a “Good” rating overall.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has initiated a new round of front overlap testing that makes crash tests even tougher for automakers. There are always a few standouts from updated tests, but this time almost every midsize sedan bombed the test. All of them except the new Honda Accord.

There was one prevailing theme: all of the cars that failed did so because of the new rear passenger tests. And all but the Accord struggled. The Subaru Outback did well with rear passenger testing but scored a Poor rating in rear passenger restraints, bumping its overall rating to Acceptable despite a raft of Good ratings. 

The Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry fared better than most with a mix of Good, Acceptable, and Marginal for most rear passenger metrics but scored Poor in restraints. Finally, the Kia K5, Hyundai Sonata, and Volkswagen Jetta scored Poor for rear passenger head, neck, and chest. The K5 and Sonata scored a Poor for rear restraints, while the Jetta scored an Acceptable.

According to IIHS President David Harkey, most midsize cars they tested had instances of rear passenger submarining. This is when the passenger slides underneath the lap belt, “causing [the dummy] to ride up from the pelvis onto the abdomen and increasing the risk of internal injuries.” The rear dummies used to simulate the test are modeled after a 12-year-old child to increase testing accuracy.

The IIHS says the risk for fatal injury is higher in the rear of new cars rather than the front–which is against conventional wisdom. It says that this is because the advancements in front-passenger safety have exceeded the rate of development for rear passengers. Though a lot of the midsize cars tested performed poorly, the Accord proves that it can be passed.

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