The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (“IIHS”) released crash test data and results on the most popular minivans sold in the United States. The IIHS tested the Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, Nissan Quest, and the Toyota Sienna.
According to the IIHS, the 2015 Toyota Sienna was the only vehicle of the 4 that earned a crash test rating of “acceptable.” The other vehicles all earned the rating of “poor” when subjected to an “overlap test.” An overlap test simulates an accident that occurs when the front corner of the vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a telephone pole. These off-center crashes are especially hard on minivans because they “bypass the vehicle’s main energy-absorbing structure.” Minivans are also built “on car platforms but are wider than cars.”
Data take from one dummy in a simulated crash involving a Town & Country showed severe injuries to the left hip, left knee, and left lower leg. According to IIHS data from the dummy in this vehicle as well as the Nissan Quest showed the forces experienced “were off the scale.”
Minivans are often marketed as a safe, economic way to transport your family. Unfortunately, the safety ratings of minivans leave much to be desired. When purchasing your next vehicle, be certain to review all crash tests and safety ratings.