IIHS to Update Side Crash Safety Test

T-bone vehicle collisions are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities in the United States. Drivers who are t-boned at an intersection due to a negligent driver crashing a light or stop sign, are more likely to  be injured than those who are hit head-on or from the rear. Part of this has to do with the low density of the vehicle’s structure on the sides, as well as a lack of manufacturer-installed side-airbags. These collisions are such an issue that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, also known as the IIHS, began conducting a study on them back in 2003. The results of that study are now available.

Over 10,000 Injuries Per Year

When the IIHS began conducting their studies in 2003, over 10,000 people were injured each year in side-impact collisions. The organization’s goal was to find ways to make that number smaller. They first examined the current auto manufacturer’s and federal government’s impact testing to see what the data said, and they found something surprising. As it turns out, their tests left out the fact that the front end of the vehicle and the barrier (also known as the car or SUV hitting it), fell short of the crash test dummy’s head. The testing was affected and didn’t accurately measure the actual impact from the side. Basically, if a standard car was hit from the side by an SUV or truck, injuries would occur, but the tests weren’t including this in their data.

Vehicles and Their Good Ratings

In order to properly test vehicles and their passengers (in the form of crash test dummies) under these conditions, the IIHS developed a honeycomb barrier that attached to the side of the vehicle for testing purposes. When this barrier was attached, the vehicle passed the test and the crash test dummy didn’t suffer any major damage. However, actual vehicles don’t have these barriers because they add quite a bit of weight to the vehicle and can lead to other issues. Thus, the IIHS will update their testing protocol and review the late model cars and SUVs that have positive safety ratings in order to determine what truly needs to be done to ensure all cars, SUV’s and trucks are safe.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a side crash collision, call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

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