Some cars come with a certain reputation. We’ve all heard of the “Jeep Guys” and “Minivan Moms,” and there are some specific traits that we tend to associate with specific cars. One of these reputational “truths” is that Subaru vehicles are some of the safest on the roads today. But before you rush out to your local Subaru dealer to pick up a brand new vehicle, know that Subaru doesn’t manufacture magical ice-resistant, crash-proof bubbles that float you carelessly from place to place—yet. The brand does, however, produce a lineup of vehicles that are well-equipped to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians as safe as possible.
It goes without saying that the key element in road safety is the driver. While several brands are experimenting with self-driving cars, there is still no available driver-assistance technology that allows for a complete absence of judgment from a conscious human being. Therefore, being awake and aware of your surroundings, avoiding distractions, and staying off the roads when conditions are unsafe are still your best tools for road safety. Sometimes, however, accidents happen despite our best intentions, which is why Subaru has found a way to enhance how your vehicle can help with specialized safety features.
Let’s Start With EyeSight
In late August 2022, Subaru announced that it had sold five million vehicles equipped with their exclusive EyeSight driver assist technology, marking a huge milestone in Subaru’s safety equipment. EyeSight originally appeared in Japanese vehicles in 2008 and eventually made its way to the American market in 2013. The technology involves two stereoscopic color cameras installed on either side of the rearview mirror. Together, they provide drivers with a variety of alerts regarding traffic and their own driving.
Pre-Collision Braking and Pre-Collision Throttle Management work to prevent frontal accidents by scanning the road for cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. An alert is provided when an impending collision is detected, and automatic braking will bring the vehicle to a full stop if necessary to avoid a crash. Pre-Collision Throttle Management works as part of this process, allowing the vehicle to slow down more efficiently.
Additionally, EyeSight provides drivers with an alert if they sway or stray from between lane markings. Lane Keep Assist technology gently offers corrections for drivers who might find themselves drifting as they drive. Adaptive Cruise Control is also part of the EyeSight family, allowing drivers to set a following distance from the vehicle in front of them and ensuring a safe space is maintained regardless of how fast or slow the vehicles may be traveling.
Impressively, all of the 2022 models equipped with EyeSight technology earned a “Superior” rating for front crash prevention from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This includes the 2022 Forester, Outback, Ascent, Legacy, WRX, and BRZ, all of which won IIHS Top Safety Pick+ awards for their overall safety. The Impreza and Crosstrek also earned “Superior” front crash prevention ratings, contributing to their own Top Safety Pick awards.
The Impressive Subaru “All-Around Awareness Technologies”
The number and type of safety technology offered on each Subaru depend on the model and trim you select. An SUV engineered for your family is going to have slightly different needs from a performance-based vehicle like the rally-ready WRX or the track-tested BRZ. That being said, even the stripped-down BRZ is offered with optional EyeSight technology and Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.
Most Subaru vehicles are offered with features that drivers can take advantage of regardless of whether they are driving on pavement or dirt. High Beam Assist, a Rear Vision Camera, and the aforementioned blind spot technology are offered on many models as standard equipment. Reverse Automatic Braking is another handy feature that is similar to EyeSight’s forward collision technology but keeps drivers out of trouble when backing out of parking spaces or garages. On some models, drivers can select a 180-degree front camera, which can help you spot objects or people just outside your peripheral vision.
Subaru’s DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System is available on many vehicles. Much like EyeSight technology, DriverFocus uses cameras to determine if a driver appears weary or distracted and sounds an alarm to regain the driver’s attention. This technology has the added benefit of being able to recognize the preferred settings of up to five different drivers, including seat and mirror position, as well as climate control, adjusting the car automatically as soon as you step inside.
Lastly, Subarus are equipped with STARLINK Safety and Security. These connected services allow you to access and monitor your Subaru vehicle via smartphone and can alert an operator in the event of a collision. SOS Emergency Service allows stranded drivers to summon roadside assistance by simply pushing a button. STARLINK can also help you out with locking and unlocking doors through your phone, which can be helpful if you ever forget to lock your car when you are out and about.
One reason so many drivers flock to Subaru vehicles is that nearly every model in the lineup comes with standard all-wheel drive. Subaru’s exclusive Symmetrical all-wheel drive system includes finely tuned sensors that distribute torque wherever it is needed to provide fantastic balance and traction when road conditions are less than perfect. Vehicle Dynamics Control is also onboard many Subaru models, providing greater stability by sensing steering and braking patterns and responding with traction and stability control to keep drivers on the right path.
Furthermore, Subaru’s vehicles are engineered for balance. While Subaru’s SUV family offers tons of ground clearance, the weight of these models is distributed evenly, with the engine tucked lower than many vehicles for greater safety in a forward-moving collision. This greater balance is helpful not only on the trail but in the event of an accident. Subaru’s sculpted body panels and ring-shaped reinforcement frame are specifically designed to provide greater protection for human occupants when involved in a high-impact collision. Numerous airbags throughout the cabin are also designed to provide maximum protection.
Subaru’s Outstanding Safety Record
One of Subaru’s claims to fame is that 96% of its vehicles are still on the road 10 years after leaving the factory. This is testimony not only to the durability of the vehicles but to the overall safety they provide.
In fact, between 2013 and 2022, Subaru had a cumulative total of 66 vehicles awarded IIHS Top Safety Pick+ status. In a press statement, Thomas J. Doll, President and Chief Executive Officer of Subaru of America, noted, “We are absolutely thrilled that every model currently available in our lineup received a 2022 IIHS Top Safety Pick award. This is a testament to our commitment to our customers that we will provide them with vehicles set to the highest safety standards year over year.”
As the saying goes, “safety is no accident.” In the case of Subaru’s compelling lineup of SUVs, cars, and performance vehicles, safety is not only found in the specialized features and available options but in the very DNA of the vehicles, from the size and shape to the location of the engine and airbags. Whichever model you decide to drive away from your local Subaru dealer in, you know that you have one of the safest vehicles on the road.