IIHS plans higher-speed vehicle-to-vehicle crash testing

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  • New vehicles routinely pass the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash test with flying colors, with 85% of the 2,022 vehicles tested passing the Top Safety Pick+ level.
  • Since 2013, the IIHS has tested this particular crash situation at 12 and 25 mph.
  • The group is considering raising the speed limits for this test to maybe 35 or 45, which is when more crashes like this happen.

    The constant back and forth between car manufacturers and safety rating agencies is about to reach a new stage. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced this week that it is considering increasing the speed at which it conducts front-to-rear crash tests.

    Blame automakers for simply getting too good at passing the current IIHS testing regime, which uses a vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash prevention test introduced in 2013. This test simulates what happens when a car hit another car stopped on the road. .

    IIHS performs two tests in this format: one at 12 mph and a second at 25 mph. Beginning with the 2014 model year, the IIHS requires cars to achieve a Basic, Advanced, or higher rating in order to earn Top Safety Pick+ honor.

    For the 2022 model year, 85% of all cars tested by the IIHS achieved this level, primarily because automakers have been busy adding automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems to their vehicles, in as part of a voluntary engagement with the IIHS and National Highway Traffic Safety. Administration (NHTSA). The IIHS reported that 12 major automakers fitted nearly all of their light-duty vehicles with AEB last year, before the agreed deadline of September 2022.

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    “The automaker’s commitment to install AEB as standard equipment will come into effect at the end of this year and the performance requirements for this commitment are based on our current testing,” said the director of media relations at the IIHS, Joe Young. Auto and driver. “In fact, the Pledge makes the current test obsolete. The Pledge is a big win for consumers, who won’t need to shop for a specific trim line or package to get this proven safety technology on their next new vehicle.And a new test, when launched, will help push the technology even further.

    So if everyone is already taking the test, how do you know which cars deserve a higher ranking? You test fore-aft collisions at higher speeds. Young said the IIHS will begin researching different test speeds this summer to determine the exact rules for the new test. The time it will take to determine the new protocols means the improved vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash-avoidance ratings won’t factor into the group’s 2023 top safety picks.

    IIHS researchers found that only 3% of rear-end crashes for which they had police reports occurred at the low speeds examined by today’s test (less than 25 mph). Increasing the test speed to between 35 and 45 mph would match real world speeds where more crashes occur. A 45mph limit would cover 43% of police-reported rear-end crashes and 12% of fatal rear-end crashes, the IIHS found.

    Young said updating this vehicle-to-vehicle crash test is similar to how the IIHS recently updated its side crash test.

    “We were at a point where the current side crash test didn’t differentiate current models, so we’ve raised the bar and we’re seeing a wide range of performance in the new test,” he said. “We expect that when we update the vehicle-to-vehicle frontal crash prevention test, we will see a similar range of performance that will inspire automakers to improve their systems. It will also provide consumers with important information when vehicle comparison.

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