ARLINGTON, Va. — When the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety first began crashing a 3,300-pound barrier into the sides of vehicles a decade ago, the tests revealed weak structures that allowed severe intrusion into the occupant compartment. Today's vehicles protect occupants much better, thanks to stronger safety cages and side airbags.
A new web video, "Inside IIHS: Side testing," explains the crash test that has helped drive this progress. The video shows the deformable barrier, which has the shape and height of the front end of a typical SUV or pickup truck and is crashed into the sides of vehicles at 31 mph, and the SID-II dummies positioned in the test vehicles to represent a small woman and a 12-year-old child. IIHS Vice President Raul Arbelaez walks viewers through the test and explains how the results are translated into ratings.
The video is available on the IIHS YouTube channel and is part of the "Inside IIHS" series. Previous installments have focused on other IIHS tests, crash test dummies, the propulsion system used to power crash tests and the Institute's booster seat rating program.