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News from the Institutes: 2010

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December 22, 2010

66 vehicles earn 2011 Top Safety Pick award

Sixty-six vehicles earn the IIHS Top Safety Pick award for 2011, including 40 cars, 25 SUVs and a minivan. Top Safety Pick recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover and rear crashes based on good ratings in Institute tests. Winners also must have available electronic stability control, a crash avoidance feature that significantly reduces crash risk.

December 2, 2010

Misaligned bumpers mean more costly damage

Bumpers are the first line of defense against costly damage in everyday low-speed crashes. Bumpers on cars are designed to match up with each other in collisions, but a long-standing gap in federal regulations exempts SUVs from the same rules. New IIHS crash tests show the damage that results.

September 28, 2010

HLDI study: Texting bans don't reduce crashes

A new study by researchers at HLDI finds no reductions in crashes after laws take effect that ban texting by all drivers. In fact, such bans are associated with a slight increase in the frequency of insurance claims filed under collision coverage for crash damage. This finding is based on comparisons of claims in 4 states before and after texting ban, compared with patterns of claims in nearby states.

September 8, 2010

Boosters improve with 21 BEST BETs in latest ratings

Boosters are better than they used to be at fitting lap and shoulder belts on 4- to 8-year-old kids to restrain them in a crash. So parents don't have to search as hard for a good fit for their child and vehicle. Most belt-positioning boosters, though, don't offer consistently good fit in all vehicles. That's the bottom line in the third round of booster evaluations by IIHS.

August 19, 2010

3 SUVs rated acceptable, 1 marginal for roof strength

The 2010 Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser, and Toyota 4Runner earn acceptable ratings, while the Nissan Pathfinder is rated marginal in recent roof strength tests that assess how well vehicles would protect people in rollover crashes.

August 3, 2010

Cadillac Escalade has highest claim rate for theft

The rate at which people file insurance claims for theft is highest for versions of the 2007-09 Cadillac Escalade, a luxury SUV, followed by the Ford F-250 crew pickup, Infiniti G37 luxury car, and Dodge Charger with a HEMI engine. Theft rates for these vehicles are 3 to 5 times as high as the average for all vehicles. These are the latest theft loss results published by HLDI.

July 29, 2010

2011 BMW 5 series earns Top Safety Pick award

After earning good ratings in all four IIHS safety evaluations, the redesigned BMW 5 series achieves Top Safety Pick status among large cars.

July 22, 2010

Mitsubishi Lancer earns the 2010 Top Safety Pick award

After earning a good rating for rollover protection, the 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer earns the Institute's Top Safety Pick award.

June 15, 2010

New crash test results: Lexus HS 250h and Suzuki Kizashi

The 2010 Lexus HS 250h, a midsize luxury hybrid, earns a good rating for side impact protection and an acceptable rating for roof strength in rollover crashes. The 2010 Suzuki Kizashi, a midsize moderately priced car, earns an acceptable rating for roof strength in rollover crashes

June 2, 2010

Midsize SUV rollover tests: 5 of 12 are marginal

New test results show that some automakers are doing a good job of designing vehicle roofs that perform much better than current federal rollover standards require. The roofs on other vehicles need improvement. In the first IIHS roof strength tests of midsize SUVs, six earn the top rating of good, one is acceptable, and five others earn the second-lowest rating of marginal.

May 20, 2010

Low-speed vehicles shouldn't mix with regular traffic

More states are allowing a relatively new breed of vehicle on public roads, but crash tests by IIHS show why the mix of low-speed vehicles or minitrucks and regular traffic is a deadly combination. These vehicles don't have to meet the basic safety standards that cars and pickups do, and they aren't designed to protect their occupants in crashes.

May 6, 2010

IIHS calls on government to require ABS for motorcycles

Recent IIHS research strongly demonstrates the benefits of antilock brakes for motorcycles. Based on findings that antilocks significantly reduce motorcycle crashes, including fatal ones by more than a third, the Institute is seeking a federal requirement that manufacturers equip all new motorcycles with this technology.

March 31, 2010

Motorcycles with ABS have fewer fatal crashes

Antilock brakes for motorcycles are working as designed to reduce the chances of crashing, removing some of the risk that comes with riding on two wheels. A new study indicates that motorcycles with antilocks are 37 percent less likely to be in fatal crashes than motorcycles without them. A separate study shows they also have fewer insurance claims.

February 4, 2010

Only 1 of 5 small pickups rates good for roof strength

The Nissan Frontier has the strongest roof and the Chevrolet Colorado the weakest among 5 small pickup trucks, all 2010 models, that recently were tested by IIHS for rollover protection. The Frontier, also sold as the Suzuki Equator, is the only pickup in the group to earn the highest rating of good. The Ford Ranger is rated acceptable while the Dodge Dakota, Toyota Tacoma, and Colorado earn the second-lowest rating of marginal.

January 29, 2010

Cellphone bans fail to reduce crashes

As state legislators across the United States enact laws that ban the use of cellphones while driving, a new HLDI study finds no reductions in crashes after hand-held phone bans take effect. Comparing insurance claims for crash damage in four U.S. jurisdictions before and after such bans, the researchers find steady claim rates compared with nearby jurisdictions without such bans.

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