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The IIHS just raised the bar in its tests of the latest crash prevention systems. The results highlight how automatic emergency braking systems are far from bulletproof. Of all the small SUVs tested, only the Subaru earned a “Good” rating. And even that crossover still rear-ended a parked motorcycle when traveling just 43 mph.

Here’s how all the small crossover SUVs tested stack up:

Make / ModelCrash Prevention Rating
2023-24 Subaru ForesterGood
2023-24 Honda CR-VAcceptable
2023-24 Toyota RAV4Acceptable
2023-24 Ford EscapeMarginal
2023-24 Hyundai TucsonMarginal
2023-24 Jeep CompassMarginal
2023-24 Chevrolet EquinoxPoor
2023-24 Mazda CX-5Poor
2023-24 Mitsubishi OutlanderPoor
2023-24 Volkswagen TaosPoor

Automakers are advertising increasingly advanced crash prevention systems. These are a series of sensors and/or cameras monitoring the road ahead. If you are headed for a crash they will warn you, and even by slamming on the brakes for you. And while these systems can reduce the chances of a crash, the latest IIHS tests demonstrate that they are far from perfect.

The old test consisted of driving a vehicle down a road at 12 or 25 mph, with another car parked in its lane. Testers recorded how early the system warned of an impending impact, and if it was able to stop early enough to prevent a collision. But the IIHS realized that this test missed some of the most dangerous scenarios.

Police officers surround SUV parked on the highway after crash.
SUV crash | Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

See, modern crash prevention systems are carefully tuned to not slam on the brakes for something large, like a steep hill. And they also have trouble detecting smaller obstacles. So how about if the vehicle in front of you is a motorcycle or a semi-truck? And what if you are going faster than 25 mph?

“The vast majority of new vehicles now come with automatic emergency braking, and our research shows the technology prevents as many as half of all front-to-rear crashes. This new, tougher evaluation targets some of the most dangerous front-to-rear crashes that are still happening.”

IIHS President David Harkey

The latest round of tests include a crash-test motorcycle replica, an inflatable car replica, and a semi-truck trailer. The IIHS also conducts the new tests at 31, 37, and 43 mph. This gave the Institute a ton of new data. But the end result is that every vehicle tested will hit a parked motorcycle moving 43 mph or faster. Some will hit bigger obstacles, even when driving at lower speeds.

This is an important finding. As these AEB systems get better, it is tempting to think they can prevent any accident. But that is just not true. And even as an increasing number of cars have this software, crashes and pedestrian deaths continue to rise. Experts recently found that in 90% of crashes, both drivers were distracted–often by their phone or in-car infotainment systems. Tests show that no matter what safety systems your car has, it’s not safe to take your eyes off the road.

See the IIHS completing its front crash prevention testing yourself in the video below: