The Hyundai Sonata earned top safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) back in April. Its third-generation platform with the high-tech ADAS made it all possible.
More stars mean safer cars. The New Car Assessment Program run by NHTSA, which began back in 1979, evaluates how vehicles perform in crash tests. NHTSA conducts frontal, side and rollover tests because these types account for the majority of crashes on America’s roadways. This time, Sonata and Sonata Hybrid both got a perfect 5-star rating.
Notorious Crash Tests
The very first scenario that NHTSA gives you is for Frontal Crash Test. You are heading south on a two-lane road, while another vehicle is driving north on that street. The driver in the other vehicle starts to fall asleep at the wheel and veers into your lane. Suddenly, you collide head-on with the northbound vehicle.
With an average-size adult in driver seat and another adult in front passenger seat, the vehicle crashes into a fixed barrier at 35 mph. All dummies are secured with a seat belt, and NHTSA evaluates injuries to the head, neck, chest, and femur (leg). Sonata earned 4 stars for the driver seat, and 5 stars for front passenger seat.
Sonata’s third-generation platform increases the energy absorbed by the vehicle in a collision, improving safety with minimization of collision impact into the passenger cabin. The platform is designed so that the tires move outward during a small overlap collision to maximize customer safety.
The next is for the side crash tests. You pull up to a four-way intersection. Then, another vehicle approaches the same intersection, but doesn’t yield at the stop sign and hits your vehicle on the driver’s side. A moving barrier crashes at 38.5 mph into a standing vehicle in the Side Barrier Crash Test. Here’s another scenario for Side Pole Crash Test- suddenly you start sliding on the road sideways and crash into a telephone pole on the driver’s side. Sonata proved itself on both Side Barrier Crash Test and Side Pole Crash Test, earning 5 stars.
The next scenario is for Rollover Resistance Test. You’re driving your SUV on a highway and suddenly you come upon a sharp curve. You try to navigate the curve, but you’re traveling too fast and losing control of your vehicle, and your vehicle departs the road and rolls over. The rollover resistance rating is based on an at-rest laboratory measurement known as the Static Stability Factor (SSF) that determines how “top-heavy” a vehicle is. NHTSA tests whether a vehicle is vulnerable to tipping up on the road in a severe maneuver. Sonata earned 5 stars, reporting a mere 9.7 percent chance of a rollover.
Safety Features Avoiding Collisions
The Hyundai Sonata is equipped with all twelve safety technologies. These features made it possible for the vehicle to actively minimize the impact.
These four are especially recommended by the U.S. agency as standard equipment: Forward Collision Warning(FCA), Lane Departure Warning, Crash Imminent Braking, and Dynamic Brake Support. Using radar technology and camera sensors, the FCA system helps prevent accidents with other vehicles or pedestrians by automatically reducing the speed and alerting the driver of potential on-road collisions. With Electronic Stability Control, FCA ensures greater protection by automatically applying the brakes at the right time.
Using front-facing camera, Lane Departure Warning will sound anytime the vehicle veers out of its lane. Lane Following Assist, too, prevents any departure from the lane. When necessary, it issues a corrective steering input that automatically guides you back into the lane and prevents unintended lane departure. The vehicle also features Blind-spot Collision-avoidance Assist, Rear Cross-traffic Collision-avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, and Safe Exit Assist.
Hyundai: The Safest In the World
Other Hyundai cars, including Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Palisade, also received Top Safety ratings – five stars – from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA).
Meanwhile, the Hyundai Elantra (Avante in Korea), Elantra GT (i30), Veloster, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, and Palisade received 2020 Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) this year. The vehicles must get good ratings in the institute’s crashworthiness evaluation categories to qualify for the award. And this year, the title for most winners went to Hyundai.