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The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) helps consumers stay informed about how safe their vehicles are. Recently, the IIHS added a new category to its suite of tests: seatbelts. Only two SUVs received seatbelt scores high enough to be considered good. It may be no surprise that they are both Subarus. Here’s why the 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Subaru Ascent beat out 24 other SUVs to be the only two with good seatbelt ratings.

A silver 2022 Subaru Forester drivin
2022 Subaru Forester | Subaru

The IIHS recently implemented new seatbelt ratings

The IIHS is a non-profit organization that is determined to make vehicles safer. Recently, the IIHS impolemented new seatbelt testing to make SUVs safer. It hopes that doing this will save about 1,500 lives a year. While most people know that seatbelts are an integral part of car safety, not everyone uses them regularly and the IIHS hopes to change that. “Our research shows that effective seat belt reminders can also save lives by getting those who aren’t diligent about belt use to buckle up. These new ratings are designed to push manufacturers to realize that potential.”

Right now, seatbelt regulations do a good job of keeping people safe, though more could be done. Right now seatbelts have to make a sound for four to eight seconds and a visual alert that lasts 60 seconds if someone is unbuckled.

The 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Subaru Ascent are the only 2 SUVs to earn a good rating

The 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Subaru Ascent are the only two SUVs that earn a good rataing from the IIHS for their seatbelt notifications. That’s out of the 26 SUVs that the IIHS tested. Both SUVs have audible alerts that are four times as high as the regular SUV noise.

There are five SUVs with acceptable seatbelt ratings. These include the 2022 Hyundai Palisade, 2022 Hyundai Tucson, 2022 Nissan Murano, 2022 Nissan Pathfinder, and 2022 Nissan Rogue.

Then there are the SUVs with marginal and poor ratings. The 2022 Jeep Compass, 2022 Jeep Renegade, and 2022 Jeep Wrangler get margineal ratings. So do the 2022 Mazda CX-5, 2022 Mazda CX-9, 2022 Toyota RAV4, and 2022 Toyota Highlander.

Most SUVs have poor seat belt ratings


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Unfortunately, most SUVs have poor seat belt ratings. The 2022 Audi Q3, 2022 Buick Encore, and 2022 Chevrolet Equinox all have poor seat belt ratings. So do the 2022 Chevrolet Traverse, 2022 Ford Escape, and 2022 Ford Explorer. In addition, the 2022 Honda CR-V, 2022 Honda HR-V, 2022 Honda Pilot, 2022Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, 2022 Volkswagen Atlas and 2022 Volvo XC40.

The IIHS says that 11 of the poor-rated SUVs don’t have signals that are loud enough or last long enough. The twelfth SUV, the 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, only has an audible alert for the driver, while the passenger side has just a visual signal.

With Subaru’s reputation for safety, perhaps it’s no surprise that the 2022 Subaru Forester and 2022 Subaru Ascent have good IIHS seatbelt ratings. While these parameters may be new, they are important and should help to save lives. Hopfully, other auto manufacturers will begin to raise the standards of their seatbelt notifications, and there will be more than two SUVs with good ratings in the very near future.