Top Marks for the Honda CR-V (again)

Since its launch in 1997, the Honda CR-V has been America’s best-selling crossover SUV with two decades of cumulative sales totaling 4.7 million units. In 2014, the Honda CR-V was the first Honda model to include Honda Sensing technology—Honda’s suite of safety and driver-assistive features—and now, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) has awarded 2018 and 2019 model year Honda CR-Vs with its highest pedestrian detection and crash prevention rating of Superior.

This Superior rating for pedestrian detection and crash prevention is just the latest top safety mark for the CR-V, which was previously award a Superior rating for its Collision Mitigation Braking System’s Crash Avoidance and Mitigation feature and deemed an overall TOP SAFTEY PICK by the IIHS when equipped with LED headlights and Honda Sensing. The CR-V is also expected to earn a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).

So in a nutshell, if you drive a Honda CR-V, then you’re driving one of the safest crossovers on the road today. But about these tests, what are they exactly? Today let’s review the Pedestrian Detection and Crash Prevention test. It’s a little creepy but interesting nonetheless.

What is the Pedestrian Detection and Crash Prevention test?

The pedestrian autobrake test is IIHS’s fourth crash avoidance test. Other IIHS safety tests include front crash prevention, rear crash prevention, and headlights. The purpose of the pedestrian autobrake test is to evaluate how well automatic emergency braking systems can detect and brake for pedestrians. Vehicles are rated as basic, advanced or superior, depending on their ability to avoid or mitigate a crash (here’s where it gets creepy) with pedestrian dummies set up to look like average Joes and Josefinas just out crossing the street. The dummies are not your average crash test dummies, they have hair and they’re wearing clothes…and sneakers.

How does the test work?

The test simulates three different situations a driver may encounter—an adult pedestrian crossing the street, a child pedestrian running across the street, and an adult pedestrian in the road walking parallel to the vehicle.

In the first scenario with the adult pedestrian crossing the street, the pedestrian crosses from the right side of the vehicle and is perpendicular to the vehicle’s path (think person in a crosswalk) with an impact location midway between the vehicle center line and right edge.

The second scenario is designed to simulate a child running across the street, emerging from behind two parked vehicles on the side of the vehicle (think kid chasing a ball into the street). In this scenario the potential impact location is on the vehicle’s front end at the center line.

And in the third scenario, with the adult walking away from yet parallel to the vehicle (think hitchhiker) the impact location is midway between the vehicle’s center line and right side.

For each scenario, a vehicle is awarded points based on average speed reductions for five repeated test runs in clear weather on dry pavement during daytime. For the first two scenarios, tests are conducted at 12mph and 25mph, and at 37mph in the parallel adult scenario.

And the results of this technology?

Overall, pretty impressive. Although only a third of all 2019 models have standard autobrake systems with pedestrian detection capabilities, and another third have an optional system, the efficacy of this technology is undoubtedly improving driving safety. For instance, a 2017 HLDI analysis found that Subaru vehicles equipped with pedestrian detection had pedestrian injury insurance claim rates that were 35 percent lower than the same vehicles without the system. 

Of course we have a ways to go to eliminating pedestrian related accidents once and for all, but with advanced technologies like Honda Sensing our automotive future is certainly on the right track. As our autos continue to evolve it’s comforting to know that Honda is one of the company’s leading the charge to make driving safer for everyone on the road—drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. For more information about the Honda CR-V please feel free to stop by our Tracy Honda dealership and speak with a member of our Honda sales team. A member of our team can review the standard and available Honda Sensing technologies, and review how to use them in your own Honda.