(MISSISSAUGA, ONT.) - Subaru Canada, Inc. (SCI) is pleased to announce that the redesigned 2019 Forester earned the highest possible rating in a new pedestrian crash prevention program.
Introduced by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in response to a renewed focus on preventing pedestrian-related collisions, the new ratings program recognises vehicles equipped with automatic emergency braking systems that can detect and, if necessary, brake for people on foot. When equipped with the available EyeSight driver-assist system, the fifth-generation Forester does just that, using stereo cameras mounted behind the windshield next to the rearview mirror to mitigate the risk of a collision.
According to the IIHS, pedestrian deaths in the United States have risen 45 per cent since reaching their lowest point in 2009. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians died in collisions in the U.S., according to the institute, down two percent from 2016, which marked the most deaths since 1990.
The pedestrian crash prevention program is the fourth crash avoidance evaluation introduced by the IIHS since 2013. The institute began rating front crash prevention systems in 2013, followed by headlights in 2016 and rear crash prevention systems in 2018.
Under the new program, vehicles are rated as Basic, Advanced or Superior based on their ability to avoid or mitigate a collision with pedestrian dummies in three different test track scenarios run at different speeds: 12 mph (19 km/h); 25 mph (40 km/h); and 37 mph (60 km/h).
The first scenario involves the simulation of an adult pedestrian on the right side of the road entering the street in the path of an oncoming vehicle — the most common type of pedestrian-involved collision, according to the IIHS. The second test simulates a child darting into the street from behind two parked vehicles, while the third replicates an adult walking into the vehicle’s travel lane near the edge of the road with his or her back turned to traffic.
According to the IIHS, the Forester was one of only two small SUVs tested to earn credit for issuing a warning in the latter test before automatically braking to mitigate the impact with the test dummy, and one of only two small SUVs tested to avoid hitting the test dummies as they entered the roadway perpendicularly.
"It would be hard for human drivers to react quickly enough to brake in time if they didn’t see the pedestrian until he or she was already in the road," IIHS Active Safety Testing manager David Aylor said in a recent Status Report issued by the institute.
A 2018 study from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), an associate organisation of the IIHS, found that EyeSight reduced the rate of probable pedestrian-related insurance claims by 35 per cent, with the report singling out Subaru’s patented safety system for its ability to detect pedestrians in addition to other vehicles on the road.
The redesigned 2019 Forester was recently awarded the 2019 Top Safety Pick (TSP) rating when equipped with EyeSight, extending its streak as the longest running TSP winner in its segment to 13 years (2007-2019).