Vehicles with the best forward collision prevention features

Vehicles with the best forward collision prevention features

Safe driving depends mainly on staying alert behind the wheel, but forward collision prevention features can alert you to hazards and help prevent crashes. An increasing number of new vehicles on the market include one or more of these safety features as standard equipment, and it is not surprising, as fatalities are more likely to occur in a frontal crash.

Standard and optional safety features can protect you on the road. Also, before you buy a car, you can find out how well you and other passengers are protected from injury by reviewing crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Every year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash-tests new makes and models. There are three different frontal crash tests conducted by the IIHS:

  • Moderate nested forward test: It tests the car’s ability to protect the driver and the second-row passenger behind the driver’s seat when forty percent of the car’s width hits a barrier on the driver’s side. This test was recently updated in 2021 by having the vehicle crash at a higher speed into a heavier barrier that is more proportional to the weight of most new SUVs.
  • Driver-side small overlap front test: It focuses on the extent to which the car protects the driver in the event of a collision centered on the front left side of the car. Twenty-five percent of the car’s width hits a barrier.
  • Passenger side small overlap test: It is similar in design to the driver-side small overlap front test, but instead of the impact occurring on the left front side of the vehicle, the crash test focuses on the impact on the front passenger side. The impact of the collision is evaluated for the occupants in the driver and passenger seats.

These are all balanced crash tests where only part of the car hits a barrier, rather than full-width crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) explains that crashes are more likely to test the protective features of a vehicle’s body while a full-width crash test is a better test of how well safety restraint systems work. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts full-width crash tests. To get a complete picture of a vehicle’s safety, consider all available test data.
The IIHS uses frontal crash tests as part of the criteria for determining which vehicles receive Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ ratings. To qualify for a Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn a good rating in the driver and passenger small overlap frontal tests and an acceptable or good rating in the moderate frontal overlap test. To receive a Top Safety Pick+ rating, a vehicle must earn a Good rating in all three tests, including the updated frontal moderate overlap test.

Although failure protection is important, failure prevention is even more important. That’s why many car manufacturers focus on including forward collision prevention features that detect obstacles or hazards and slow or stop the vehicle.

Front collision prevention features

Forward collision prevention features vary by vehicle, but they are generally designed to alert you of a hazard and, in some cases, to slow or stop the vehicle.

  • Forward collision warning: Sensors or cameras provide an alert when you are in danger of colliding with a vehicle in front of you. Note that this is an alert feature that still requires the driver to stop or swerve to avoid hitting the vehicle.
  • Automatic emergency braking: Also sometimes referred to as intelligent braking, this feature applies the brakes if it senses an imminent collision with a vehicle in front of you. It is usually paired with a forward collision warning system. This feature will not necessarily prevent a collision, but it can reduce the severity of the impact by slowing down your vehicle.
  • Pedestrian and cyclist detection: Unlike forward collision warning systems that are specifically designed to detect other vehicles, vehicles equipped with special sensors can detect pedestrians and cyclists who may be in your vehicle’s path.

These are just some of the most common forward collision prevention features. Other safety features include things like Driver Attention Monitoring, which vibrates the seat or displays a warning message if you feel drowsy or distracted, or Teen Driver Mode, which disables unnecessary features that might become a distraction for new drivers.

Mercedes-Benz Driver Attention Monitoring SystemMercedes Benz USA

Compare the following vehicles, all of which have high ratings for front crash prevention, to find the vehicle that best suits your needs and budget. Whether you’re shopping for an SUV, sedan, truck, or minivan, these vehicles have the latest safety features that will keep you better protected on the road.

Vehicles with superior front crash prevention ratings

(Tags for translation)Erica Boyces

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