A Five-Star Safety Vehicle; the 2016 Chevy Traverse
SUVs are naturally safer than sedans or compact vehicles. Much like a full-size truck, their inevitable size and weight plays into this. Therefore, automakers generally don’t focus on enhancing the safety of these vehicles. Well, that’s how it used to be, anyway. Things are a bit different now, and while not all brands focus as heavily on an SUV’s safety features, vehicles like the 2016 Chevy Traverse for sale that wins a five-star safety award still gives an added peace of mind compared to the ones that don’t. Size and weight can only help protect during a crash, but what about preventing and responding? Covering all three stages of a crash is something Chevy has been doing for a while now, and most of their vehicles have become famous for their stellar safety.
Whether it’s because of the Traverse’s size and frame, or the advanced preventive and responsive safety features on board, the fact remains that it’s at the head of the class for safety.
Five-Star Overall Vehicle Score for Safety
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) awarded the 2016 Traverse with an overall five-star rating. This means it earned five stars in at least two of the three categories, and was able to get four stars in the third. For Frontal Crash and Side Crash protection, the Traverse scored a perfect five-out-of-five stars, and four-stars in the Rollover category. While their natural size and weight helps with absorbing impact damage, the height actually adversely affects the rollover risk.
Taller vehicles like SUVs have a higher center of gravity, which causes them to have a greater risk of rolling over during evasive, careless, or dangerous maneuvers — like taking a corner too fast, or sharply turning at the last second to avoid something. Therefore, the fact that the Traverse scored a four-star rating is impressive. Even if it’s not as big as the Durango or Suburban, it’s a mid-size SUV that still sits higher than a sedan. Also, the aerodynamic and low-cut roofline surely helped with this. Since the design is sleeker and not the traditional boxy shape, that means the center of gravity is lowered slightly.
The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) also gave the 2016 Chevy Traverse a top score of Good across the board in their crashworthiness tests. Moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraints & seats all proved to work effectively. It even received a score of Basic in the crash avoidance and mitigation category with optional equipment installed.
While the durability and safety of the impact tests is no doubt thanks to the high-strength frame, six standard airbags, and an available industry-first front center airbag, a vehicle also needs to have at least a few advanced technologies on board for it to even be considered for a score in the crash avoidance and mitigation category.
Notable Safety Features
It actually has a handful of notable safety features that could be considered advanced. It is Chevy, after all, and their vehicles are known for leading the segment in safety. So, it really shouldn’t be surprising that this SUV features notable safety enhancements.
Forward Collision Alert and Lane Departure Warning
There are three tiers in the crash avoidance and mitigation category: forward collision warning, low-speed autobrake, and high-speed autobrake. Since the Traverse doesn’t have any automatic braking systems, it was able to score one point (the basic rating) for the front collision warning category — which gave the Traverse its score of Basic.
The sole reason for this rating is because of the Traverse’s Forward Collision Alert safety system. This feature uses radar to detect how close the Traverse is to a vehicle in front of it, and then sends out a warning if it is getting too close. Lane Departure Warning works in the same manner, but uses a camera-based system to detect if the vehicle is unintentionally drifting out of its lane.
Side Blind Zone Alert
Another system that uses radar is Side Blind Zone Alert. This detects vehicles that are entering either your driver- or passenger-side blind spot from behind. If a vehicle is detected on either side, it will provide a visual warning in the corner of the respective mirror.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
When reverse is engaged, Rear Cross Traffic Alert kicks in, and helps you when backing out into a busy street or parking lot. It uses radar to detect any vehicles crossing from either side behind the Traverse, and will provide you with an alert. The Traverse also has a rear vision camera that pops up on the 6.5-inch color screen, so you can see directly behind you as well. The lines that are set in place are used to show you the trajectory of your vehicle, and it will alter the path depending on which direction you decide to turn the wheel.
While most of the advanced features mentioned are available, they come standard on higher trim levels. But the fact still remains that the Traverse is one of the only SUVs to have this many safety options on it.
The Competition Can’t Compare
The competition can’t compare to the 2016 Chevy Traverse when it comes to safety. The only other vehicles that come close to the level of safety provided by the Traverse are the Equinox and Suburban — which makes sense. Since they are both Chevy vehicles, they share the same type of safety technology. The 2016 Dodge Durango fails to beat the Traverse in safety, along with the 2016 Ford Explorer.
Both of those vehicles received a moderate score in overlap front, and are two very competitive and popular SUVs circulating through the market. While they may shine for some of their other features, the Traverse is your vehicle of choice if you're looking for the safest SUV on the market. And it's all thanks to Chevy’s stellar safety technology.