August 23, 2017|Volume 52, Number 6

Cover story

Stay within the lines Lane departure warning, blind spot detection help drivers avoid trouble

Lane departure warning and blind spot detection are helping to prevent the type of crashes they were designed to address, new IIHS research shows.

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

August 3, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 5

UnbeltedAdults admit they often skip belts in rear seat

Adults know children must be properly restrained, but when it comes to their own safety, many mistakenly believe safety belts are optional in the rear seat.

Lap/shoulder belt better than lap belt alone in rear middle seat

Using a lap/shoulder belt in the center rear seat cuts the risk of fatal injury more than a lap belt alone, a NHTSA analysis show

Studies link legalized use of recreational marijuana with increase in crashes

Two studies on legalization of marijuana appeared to have conflicting findings, but both support the conclusion that crashes have gone up where marijuana is legal.

Noise mandate for hybrids, electrics faces NHTSA delay

A regulation requiring normally quiet hybrid and electric vehicles to make noise in order to warn pedestrians has been put on hold.

June 22, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 4

High claimsLegalizing recreational marijuana is linked to increased crashes

Collision claim rates have increased 3 percent in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, after recreational marijuana use was legalized in those states.

Out of all drugs, alcohol is still the biggest threat on the roads

Nearly 7,000 deaths could have been prevented in 2015 if all drivers were below the legal limit.

Lane maintenance systems still a turnoff for many drivers

Among vehicles with crash avoidance features, lane maintenance systems are turned off nearly half the time, a new study shows.

Tesla Model S has higher insurance losses than other large luxury cars

The luxury sedan has higher claim rates and costs more to fix than gas-powered luxury cars. 

May 25, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 3

On the road againHigher driver death rate is a downside of economic recovery

The risk of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle has gone up slightly because of the stronger economy. A new study predicts traffic deaths will fall only slightly over the coming years, given current economic forecasts.

Summer road trips mean more traffic deaths

Summer and early fall are the most dangerous times of the year on the nation's roads. Fatalities also are higher on weekends and certain holidays.