December 30, 2013

Alcohol paradox: Drop in weekend drinking and driving doesn't bring drop in fatal crashes involving alcohol

The percentage of drivers on the road impaired by alcohol has plunged, yet the percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes has stayed relatively constant. IIHS researchers explore possible reasons for the puzzle.

Walking and biking under the influence carry dangers, too

The proportion of fatally injured pedestrians and bicyclists who were impaired by alcohol has changed little in recent decades.

Softer vehicle fronts and pedestrian detection systems could reduce pedestrian deaths, injuries

Pedestrians are the focus of proposed new regulations to modify the fronts of vehicles to lessen the harm they can cause to pedestrians. A new IIHS study finds the changes may help reduce some deaths and injuries

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 10

December 19, 2013

A higher standard: 39 vehicles meet new criteria for TOP SAFETY PICK, TOP SAFETY PICK+

IIHS has raised the bar for its safety awards, requiring a good or acceptable rating in the small overlap front test. Top Safety Pick+ winners also must offer front crash prevention.

Hundreds die in ATV crashes on public roads

All-terrain vehicles are made for off-road use, but large numbers of people take them on public roads, where they are generally prohibited.

Study of teen fatal crash rates adds to evidence of GDL benefits

A recent study provides more evidence that graduated driver licensing cuts fatal crashes among 16 and 17 year-olds and identifies components with large benefits.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 9

November 7, 2013

More booster seats grab top ratings

Of the 31 new booster seats evaluated this year, 19 earn the top rating of BEST BET. Counting carry-over models, there are 58 BEST BET boosters for 2013, more than any prior year.

Vehicle vandalism peaks on Halloween with nearly twice as many claims as usual

Personal vehicles are almost twice as likely to be vandalized on Oct. 31 as on an average day, HLDI finds.

Drop in teen driving tracks with teenage unemployment

A new HLDI study shows the connection between the decline in teen driving and the increase in teen unemployment.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 8

September 27, 2013

First crash avoidance ratings under new test program: 7 midsize vehicles earn top marks

A new IIHS test program rates front crash prevention systems to help consumers decide which features to consider and encourage automakers to speed adoption of the technology.

Crash tests show how autobrake can mitigate crash severity, damage costs

IIHS conducted two demonstration crash tests at different speeds to show how autobrake can reduce damage even when a crash can't be avoided.

ESC, strong roofs reduce but don't eliminate all rollover injuries

Electronic stability control, strong roofs and other improvements are rapidly cutting rollover injuries. The ones that remain will look different.

Subaru, Volvo dealers report sales boost from good crash test ratings

Dealers of two brands that did well in the Institute's small overlap front crash test say the good ratings brought in customers and boosted sales.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 7

August 8, 2013

Small overlap challenge: New crash test taxes small car restraints, structure

The latest small overlap front crash test results reveal a range of performance among top-selling small cars. Six of 12 models tested qualify for the TOP SAFETY PICK+ award.

Small overlap front crashes aren't just a U.S. issue, German study finds

Small overlap crashes account for a quarter of frontal crashes of all severities in Germany, a new study of insurance claims indicates.

Ford F-250 has highest theft rate of any 2010-12 model

The Ford F-250 has replaced the Cadillac Escalade as the favorite target of thieves, HLDI reports.

Speed camera enforcement cuts fatality rate 10 percent in France

France's extensive speed camera program has cut crash fatalities in the country, a recent analysis finds.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 6

June 27, 2013

Safety gains aren't global: Some regions lag U.S., Europe, Australia in protecting people in crashes

Car buyers in the U.S. benefit from a safety marketplace where there is a wealth of consumer information. The story is different in developing markets, but some groups are helping them catch up.

The chances of dying in a crash vary across the globe

About 1.2 million people die in road crashes worldwide each year, but the chances of dying in a crash depend on where you live.

Teens delay licenses and drive less often; N.J. teens back restrictions for older novices

Teens today aren't in such a rush to get a driver's license. New research suggests it may be due more to economic reasons than social ones or to avoid graduated licensing.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 5

May 30, 2013

Watch your head: Michigan's weakened helmet use law leads to costlier injury claims

The average insurance payment on a motorcycle injury claim rose substantially in Michigan after the state weakened its helmet use law to exempt most riders last year.

New research adds to the evidence that motorcycle ABS prevents crashes

As antilock brakes become available on more and more bikes, the technology continues to prove its worth in preventing motorcycle crashes and fatalities.

Older riders more likely to land in hospital after crashes

When older motorcyclists crash, they are nearly 3 times as likely as younger riders to be seriously injured, a new study published in Injury Prevention indicates.

Redesigned Subaru Forester aces tough new crash test

The 2014 Subaru Forester is first to ace every aspect of the small overlap front crash test. The Forester and the 2013 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport qualify for Top Safety Pick+.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 4

April 25, 2013

More good news about crash avoidance: Volvo City Safety reduces crashes

Volvo's low-speed crash avoidance system is helping drivers avoid fender-benders and minor injuries on congested roads.

More choices for buyers as automakers adopt systems

Manufacturers are making good progress in adding crash avoidance systems to their fleets to help mitigate frontal crashes.

Vehicle Research Center project to allow more crash avoidance tests

The VRC is undergoing a $30 million expansion to enable IIHS to accommodate a broader test program for crash avoidance systems.

Key child restraint strap is often overlooked, misunderstood by parents

A strap meant to prevent a child restraint from tipping forward in a crash is ignored by lots of parents. A new IIHS study finds top tethers are used just over half of the time.

In the nation's capital, solid support for automated enforcement

A new IIHS survey shows a large majority of people who live in Washington, D.C., favor camera enforcement.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 3

March 14, 2013

Not good enough: Underride guards on big rigs can be lifesavers, but most leave passenger vehicle occupants at risk in certain crashes

IIHS crash tested eight trailers to see if their underride guards could stop a car from sliding underneath. Only one passed the toughest test, a 30 percent overlap.

Rear underride crashes are easier to address than front or side ones

Passenger vehicles often collide with the fronts and sides of large trucks, but trailers are only required to have guards on the rear.

Two-lane roundabouts bring benefits but also some confusion

Many benefits of roundabouts extend to the two-lane variety, a new IIHS study shows. However, the study also sounds a note of caution about driver confusion.

Alcohol monitoring curbs repeat arrests for DUI, domestic violence

A South Dakota program that uses twice-daily breath tests to keep people sober after alcohol-related arrests has reduced the number of people who reoffend.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 2

January 24, 2013

Sharing the road: Communities try new ways to improve bicyclist safety

As cities encourage biking, they're using a variety of approaches to give bicyclists their own space on the road. Researchers are trying to determine which ones are safest.

Study provides more evidence that cameras reduce red light running

A new study of red light cameras in Arlington, Va., shows that cameras reduce red light violations, with particularly large decreases for violations that occur at least 1 ½ seconds after the light has turned red.

Drivers back stronger belt reminders; European systems could be model

Among in-vehicle technologies to encourage belt use, results of a new survey show that most motorists support enhanced belt reminders that are more persistent and intense than most U.S. vehicles have now, but belt interlocks still would be a hard sell.

Back seats also should have belt reminders, parents say

More than three-quarters of drivers surveyed in a new national poll would support belt reminders that alert them when children in back seats aren’t buckled.

Download print edition | Volume 48, Number 1