What Is IIHS Crash Test?

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IIHS Crash Test

IIHS stands for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It was founded in 1959, and it’s based in Virginia. It is regulatory that conducts tests, researches, and implements safety policies. A few insurance companies fund this nonprofit organization. IIHS Crash Test conducted is responsible for a safety check and ensure that all the vehicles are safe for the consumer. It also provides a safety rating to help the consumer decide.

IIHS also helps in reducing the number of road accidents and injuries. It targets unsafe vehicles which are not suitable for the consumer. We have seen many cars being discontinued because of their low sales. Many times, lesser sales are recorded because of the low safety standards of the vehicle. This regulatory also researches the traffic regulations. IIHS conducts various safety tests and concludes with a result. Often, these results affect the sales of the vehicle. Read more about the safety tests conducted by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts various safety tests to protect consumers. These are the Frontal Crash test, Side impact test, and Roof Strength test. Moreover, the frontal crash test includes a moderate overlap frontal test, driver-side overlap frontal test, and passenger-side small overlap frontal test.

Frontal Crash Test

The most common and most important IIHS Crash Test is the frontal crash. It is important as the front crash can impact all the passengers. It uses six categories to evaluate the result. These results get a good, acceptable, marginal, and poor grading. Vehicles with poor ratings often lose customers because of their unsafe build quality. The frontal crash test includes overlap frontal test, driver side overlap, and passenger side overlap.

1. Overlap Frontal Test

In this test, the vehicle travels at 40mph and hits a barrier. The face of the barries is deformable and is made from aluminum. A dummy is placed on the tested vehicle’s driver seat, which has an average person’s height. In this test, the forces are equal to two-vehicle crashes.

Overlap Frontal Test

2. Driver-Side Small Overlap Frontal Test

This test was introduced later on to increase the driver’s safety. It includes the collision of the vehicle from the front end of the driver’s side. In this test, the vehicle moves at 40mph towards the obstructing object. Driver-side overlap frontal test is for the driver’s safety when hitting a pole or a tree.

IIHS crash test

3. Passenger-Side Small Overlap Frontal Test

This test is similar to the Driver-side small overlap frontal test. This came into action even later. As per the increasing road cases, we have seen extra safety measures from the IIHS. Thus, the rest of the features remains the same, just like the driver-side test.

IIHS CRASH TEST passenger side

Side Impact Test

In the side impact test, a vehicle remains stationary. A four-wheel sled hits the testing vehicle at a speed of 31mph. The sled is usually like a pickup truck or an SUV. Recently, IIHS modified this test with an even heavier sled. Also, they increased the speed from 31mph to 37mph to create a bigger impact.

Side Impact Test IIHS CRASH TEST

Roof Strength Test

In 2009, IIHS felt the need to introduce a roof strength test as the number of rollovers increased. The testing vehicle remains stationary in this test, and a metal hydraulic plate is damped on its roof. Although, it slides at an angle that strikes the sloping roof, which is above the windows. In this IIHS Crash Test, a vehicle should be able to handle a weight four times more than its curb weight.

Roof test

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These were all the basic IIHS Crash tests. The given tests are necessary for the safety of the consumers. Also, it is important to check the safety rating of the new car you want to purchase as road accidents are increasing daily.


By Jayson O'Neil

Jayson is a car-o-holic, and you will often find him writing about cars & bikes here at DaxStreet. You can reach out to him at [email protected]

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