In their latest round of crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety focused on how well small SUVs protect not only the driver---but the front passenger as well.

Since the left and right sides of a vehicle are each unique in design, IIHS wanted to see if small SUVs, that rate “Acceptable” or “Good” in driver-side overlap front crash tests, are just as safe on the passenger side.

In the 7 new tests, the BMW X1, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Jeep Compass, and Mitsubishi Outlander all earned a “Good” rating. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport earned a Marginal score, while the Ford Escape earned a Poor rating. The Escape had earlier rated Acceptable on the driver’s side test.  A total of 16 small SUVs have been tested so far.

The vehicle travels 40 mph toward a barrier with 25-percent of the right front overlapping the barrier. It simulates contact with another vehicle, tree, or utility pole. For IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK PLUS status, a vehicle must have a Good or Acceptable passenger-side crash rating.

The trend toward EVs is undeniable. Federal regulators are breaking a certain “long-held silence” in the name of safety.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has set the standard for how much noise hybrids and EVs must make at low speeds.

This addresses concerns that electrified cars are so quiet that pedestrians, the visually impaired and bicyclists may not hear them coming.

The cars will be required to have operating acoustics up to 18.6-miles per hour. Half of a carmaker’s electric fleets must comply by September 1, 2019, with all- qualifying a year later.

Some brands have already started making their EVs and hybrids “more audible” well ahead of the deadlines. And that’s it for this week’s Motornews.