Photo: New Crash Tests: Subaru Forester is Top Safety Pick

Apr 17, 2008, 01:00 ET from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

    ARLINGTON, Va., April 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The redesigned 2009
 Subaru Forester, a small SUV, earns the Insurance Institute for Highway
 Safety's TOP SAFETY PICK award. Winners afford superior overall crash
 protection among the vehicles in their class. To qualify, a vehicle must
 earn the highest rating of good in the Institute's front, side, and rear
 tests and be equipped with electronic stability control.
     To view the Multimedia News Release, go to:
     Criteria to win are tough because the award is intended to drive
 continued safety improvements such as top crash test ratings and the rapid
 addition of electronic stability control, which is standard on the
     "Recognizing vehicles at the head of the class for safety helps
 consumers distinguish the best overall choices without having to sort
 through multiple test results," says Institute president Adrian Lund.
     Only 13 cars, minivans, and SUVs initially qualified for 2007 awards.
 Now 37 models earn the designation. As automakers introduce new models or
 make safety changes to existing ones, the Institute adds winners throughout
 the year.
     "The performance of the Forester underscores Subaru's commitment to
 delivering state-of-the-art safety to its customers," Lund says. "You don't
 know what kind of crash you're going to be in. That's why it's important to
 choose a vehicle that will protect you in all kinds of crashes. The TOP
 SAFETY PICK designation is intended to help people find the safest
     The Institute's frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on
 results of 40 mph frontal offset crash tests. Each vehicle's overall
 evaluation is based on measurements of intrusion into the occupant
 compartment, injury measures recorded on a Hybrid III dummy in the driver
 seat, and analysis of slow-motion film to assess how well the restraint
 system controlled dummy movement during the test.
     Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the
 side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. The barrier
 represents the front end of a pickup or SUV. Ratings reflect injury
 measures recorded on two instrumented SID-IIs dummies, assessment of head
 protection countermeasures, and the vehicle's structural performance during
 the impact.
     Rear crash protection is rated according to a two-step procedure.
 Starting points for the ratings are measurements of head restraint geometry
 -- the height of a restraint and its horizontal distance behind the back of
 the head of an average-size man. Seats with good or acceptable restraint
 geometry are tested dynamically using a dummy that measures forces on the
 neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is
 struck in the rear at 20 mph. Seats without good or acceptable geometry are
 rated poor overall because they can't be positioned to protect many people.

SOURCE Insurance Institute for Highway Safety