Two Honda models recognized for improved safety

Photo via Honda

The Honda Pilot won IIHS’s 2023 Top Safety Pick+

The Honda Pilot has driven off with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest safety award. The SUV earned the title thanks to improved performance in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test.

That test counts for a lot in IIHS ratings. To be a Top Safety Pick+, a vehicle has to achieve a “good” rating in the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, updated side and original moderate overlap front tests. 

Headlights also count for a lot. A vehicle must have headlights rated “good” or “acceptable across all trim levels.

Redesigned for the 2023 model year, IIHS said the Pilot meets all the requirements for the “plus,” with a standard front crash prevention system that earns superior ratings in both the daytime and nighttime evaluations and good-rated headlights supplied on all trims.

The Accord also showed improvement

Another Honda model, the Accord, also won praise from IIHS for its performance in the updated moderate overlap front crash test. The midsize sedan earned a rare “good” rating in the new, challenging evaluation focused on rear-seat protection.

The other six midsize cars in the test didn’t perform as well as the Accord. However, the Subaru Outback earned an “acceptable” rating. The Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry were rated marginal. The Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 and Volkswagen Jetta were rated as “poor.”

“In most of the midsize cars we tested, the rear dummy slid forward, or ‘submarined,’ beneath the lap belt, causing it to ride up from the pelvis onto the abdomen and increasing the risk of internal injuries,” IIHS President David Harkey said. “In the three poor-rated vehicles, measurements taken from the rear dummy also indicated likely injuries to the head or neck as well as to the chest.”

For a vehicle to earn a good rating, there must be reduced injury risk to the head, neck, chest or thigh, using a second-row dummy to measure impact. The dummy should remain correctly positioned during the crash without submarining. 

In a crash, the head should also remain a safe distance from the front seatback and the rest of the vehicle interior and the shoulder belt must remain on the shoulder. A pressure sensor on the rear dummy’s torso is used to check the shoulder belt position during the crash.

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