December 22, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 13

More TOP SAFETY PICK winners as rollover and side protection improve

After struggling with tougher Top Safety Pick criteria a year ago, manufacturers have bounced back with more winning options.

Real-world data confirm results of side crash tests

Even with side airbags, drivers of vehicles with poor IIHS side ratings are 3 times as likely to die in a real-world left-side crash than drivers of vehicles that good ratings.

Wheego Whip is no match for barrier in side crash test

A recent side crash test of the 2010 electric Wheego Whip shows why low-speed vehicles like the Whip shouldn't share the road with regular traffic.

December 2, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 12

Bumper mismatch contributes to pricey damage

SUV and car bumpers don’t line up with each other, and that leads to expensive damage in low-speed crashes.

Public seeks safer roads but still takes risks

Drivers sat texting while driving, speeding and running red lights are dangerous but admit to doing them anyway.

Stronger roofs help to reduce rollover injuries

New research from government researchers backs up the Institute’s findings about the importance of roof strength in rollover crashes.

November 3, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 11

Aftermarket bumpers meeting new standard perform well in crashes

Tests show aftermarket parts can work well if they are correctly reverse-engineered.

Indiana city takes roundabout path to safer roads

Roundabouts outnumber traffic lights in Carmel, Ind. City officials credit the circular intersections with reducing crashes and improving efficiency.

Crash deaths continue to decline in U.S. amid recession

Traffic deaths have fallen to their lowest levels since 1950, new federal data show.

Large 15-passenger vans are subject to safety advisory

Two deadly crashes prompt a government advisory on 15-passenger vans.

September 28, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 10

State texting bans don't reduce crashes, insurance data show

A HLDI study of insurance claims finds that outlawing texting by drivers hasn't cut crashes.

Federal study finding no benefit from motorcycle antilocks is flawed

A federal study that failed to find a benefit of antilock braking systems on motorcycles relied on flawed methods. The government should set aside the findings.

Cost of crashes amounts to $500 per driver a year

Crash-related injuries cost the U.S. more than $99 billion a year in medical costs and lost wages and productivity, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.

Double-red signal reduces crashes at crosswalks

A type of pedestrian-activated crosswalk signal known as a HAWK can reduce crashes at intersections where a full-fledged traffic signal isn't warranted, a recent study found.

September 8, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 9

More boosters earn top ratings for belt fit, but most still don't

Most boosters still don't provide consistently good belt fit, but there are a growing number of BEST BET options.

Need a booster? Question stumps many parents

Confusion persists among parents about the need for boosters and when children can leave them behind.

Top tethers on child restraints are used less than half the time

All front-facing child restraints have top tethers to keep them from tipping too far forward in crashes, but they are used only 43 percent of the time, an IIHS survey shows.

August 21, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 8

Sidetracked: Hot-button issues divert resources

Attention-grabbing issues such as vehicle defects and driver cellphone use can distract from highway safety initiatives with bigger life-saving potential.

Speed limiters in trucks would serve 2 purposes

The idea of requiring speed limiters on large trucks is getting new life because of its potential to conserve fuel.

Roof strength update: Most new ratings are good

Automakers have been improving occupant protection in rollover crashes.

August 3, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 7

Parents favor strict rules for teen drivers and higher licensing age

Parents support older licensing ages for beginning drivers and stricter limits on night driving and passengers, a new survey finds.

Escalade leads list of highest theft claims

Theft rates for the Cadillac Escalade, Ford F-250 crew pickup, Infiniti G37, and Dodge Charger with a HEMI engine are 3 to 5 times as high as the average for all vehicles.

Belt use climbs in Maine after shift to primary law

Maine's upgrade to a primary safety belt law, combined with high-visibility enforcement, boosted belt use, a government study shows.

Crashes are leading cause of officers' deaths

The number of law enforcement officers killed in crashes increased 80 percent between 1980 and 2007.

June 19, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 6

Older drivers' crash rates decline unexpectedly

Crash rates among seniors are down, and one reason may be that they are limiting the amount and type of driving they do.

DWI offenders pick interlocks over house arrest

When the alternative is house arrest, more offenders choose interlocks, a study in New Mexico finds.

Drinking and related problems decline when alcohol costs more

Alcohol-impaired driving and other drinking-related problems decline when alcohol costs more, studies of tax policies show.

Agency rejects recorder rule for all big rigs

Electronic onboard recorders could reduce the problem of fatigued drivers, but a new federal rule requires the devices only for those with repeated rule violations.

Stability control reduces fatal crash risk by a third

Electronic stability control is one of the most effective technologies for preventing deadly crashes, especially single-vehicle rollovers, a new study confirms.

May 20, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 5

Low-speed vehicles aren't crashworthy, new tests show

More and more, low-speed vehicles and minitrucks are being allowed on public roads next to larger, faster-moving vehicles. New crash tests show why this is a terrible idea.

New estimates of benefits of crash avoidance features on passenger vehicles

Four existing crash avoidance features could prevent 1 of 3 fatal crashes if all vehicles head them.

Large trucks to benefit from technology designed to help prevent crashes

Four crash avoidance features could prevent or mitigate 1 of 4 large truck crashes, including 1 of 5 fatal ones.

April 15, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 4

Special issue: safety ratings

It's a safety marketplace, and consumers are buying

A safety marketplace has grown up around the world, thanks to the availability of vehicle crashworthiness ratings, which are widely consulted by consumers.

Consumers are paying attention to vehicle safety

A new IIHS poll shows safety is an important factor for vehicle buyers, second only to quality and reliability.

March 31, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 3

Riding is risky fun: Motorcyclist deaths increase

More people are riding motorcycles, and more are dying in crashes. An IIHS survey provides a picture of who is driving and looks at their views on helmets, helmet laws and antilock brakes.

Helmet laws that apply to all riders cut risk of motorcycle injury

Motorcyclists in states that require helmets are less likely to file injury claims after collisions than those in states without such laws, a HLDI study finds.

Antilock brakes on motorcycles prevent crashes

Two studies provide more evidence that antilock brakes reduce fatal crash risk and insurance losses.

Training fails to reduce crash risk of young riders

State requirements that young motorcycle riders take a training course before being licensed don't reduce crashes, a new analysis of insurance claims shows.

New Jersey leads way with strong teen licensing laws

Policies that require teens to wait until they're 17 to get their licenses and then adhere to tough restrictions once they do are cutting crash rates in New Jersey.

February 27, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 2

Special issue: phoning while driving

Patterns of phone use and crashes don't match

Phone use by drivers is up, but crashes aren't. More research is needed to figure out why this risky practice hasn't affected crash rates.

Drivers phone and text even at riskiest times

An Institute survey finds that large numbers of drivers talk on the phone and text even in challenging driving conditions.

Phone use bans aren't producing expected benefit

Collision claims don't decrease after states enact driver cellphone bans, a new HLDI study finds.

High-tech options to curb distraction

Technology can be distracting, but some forms can help prevent distraction.

February 6, 2010 |Volume 45, Number 1

Belted drivers appear less protected under new front airbag standards

New frontal airbag standards appear to decrease protection of belted occupants, an IIHS study shows.

Drinking continues to decline among weekend drivers

The latest national roadside survey finds alcohol-impaired driving has continued to decline, with 2.2 percent of drivers having blood alcohol concentrations of 0.08 percent or more.

NHTSA examines fatal crash factors

A federal study suggests the need for improved vehicle designs and advanced restraints, as people continue to die in crashes despite airbags and safety belts.

New safety ratings for small pickups

The Nissan Frontier has the strongest roof and the Chevrolet Colorado the weakest among five 2010 small pickup trucks recently evaluated for rollover protection.