December 8, 2016|Volume 51, Number 10

Cover story

In the best light 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners meet new headlight criteria

Thirty-eight models earn Top Safety Pick+, the Institute's award for optimal crash protection and crash avoidance. Another 44 earn Top Safety Pick, which doesn't take headlights into account.

Status Report, published periodically, is a newsletter covering research and topics in the highway safety field. New issues are published in their entirety online and are available in print via subscription. To subscribe, email

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Recent issues

November 17, 2016 |Volume 51, Number 9

Designs that clickBooster manufacturers have mastered good belt fit

The vast majority of new booster seats earn the top rating of BEST BET from IIHS, but bad designs continue to slip through.

No IIHS rating for the Mifold belt-positioning device

The Mifold Grab-and-Go Booster is a highly portable belt-positioning device, but isn't really a booster.

Warning systems neither curb driver distraction nor worsen it

Drivers who receive crash avoidance warnings aren't any more likely to pay attention to the road than drivers who don’t, an IIHS study shows. They aren't any less likely either.

Rearview cameras reduce police-reported backing crashes

An IIHS study of police-reported backing collisions shows that rearview cameras cut such crashes by 16 percent. Older drivers benefit the most.

November 10, 2016 |Volume 51, Number 8

Special issue: autonomous vehicles

Driver seatRobot cars won't retire crash-test dummies anytime soon

Self-driving vehicles are coming, but they won't supplant human drivers for decades to come. Automation can reduce crashes, but so can focusing on tried-and-true countermeasures.

IIHS-HLDI test drives uncover driver assistance system quirks

IIHS-HLDI staff have been taking vehicles outfitted with automated technologies on test drives. Turns out, even experts sometimes mistrust advanced features.

NHTSA says safety won't take back seat to autonomy

U.S. regulators plan to use their recall authority if issues arise with highly automated vehicles and may seek the power to approve these vehicles before they come to market.

September 1, 2016 |Volume 51, Number 7

LATCH ratings improveAutomakers make strides on child restraint installation hardware

Most of the current models evaluated for ease of use of child restraint hardware rate good or acceptable. Three models earn a good+ rating.

Head injuries rise as riders ditch helmets in Michigan

Trauma centers in Michigan are seeing more head injuries after the state rolled back its helmet law, new research shows.

Drivers who drift from lane and crash often dozing or ill

Drivers who crash as a result of drifting out of their lanes often are asleep, suffering a medical emergency, or blacked out due to drug or alcohol use.

Life-saving benefits of ESC continue to accrue

Electronic stability control saved an estimated 4,100 lives in 2010-14, an updated federal analysis has found.