December 28, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 10

Loss leadersLuxury cars dominate list of models with highest collision losses

Two electric vehicles are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to collision insurance losses, HLDI data show.

New estimates of safety features in vehicle fleet

Park assist systems are spreading through the vehicle fleet faster than front crash prevention, despite the latter's proven benefits, a new HLDI study shows.

Honda's sporty wheels still a draw for car thieves

Insurance claims data continue to show high theft losses for certain Honda Accords and the Honda Fit Sport, which have sought-after wheels.

December 7, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 9

Higher standards62 models meet tougher criteria to earn IIHS awards

Just 15 vehicles qualify for the Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS after the requirements were strengthened. Another 47 vehicles earn the second-tier Top Safety Pick award.

Voice-command systems help older drivers focus on the road

Hands-free calling using a single-step voice command system instead of buttons and knobs helps drivers, especially older ones, keep their attention on the road.

November 21, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 8

Meet JasperIIHS introduces new dummy for booster evaluations

IIHS is using a new, specially designed dummy for booster evaluations. Manufacturers can use this new tool in the design process to ensure boosters provide proper belt fit.

Gearshift interlocks could get more people to buckle up

Safety belt interlocks, once banned, are making a comeback and are more effective than enhanced belt reminders, an IIHS study shows.

Some teens, parents think mixing pot and driving is OK

Roughly a third of teens and a quarter of parents of teen drivers think it's legal to drive under the influence of marijuana in states where the drug is legal.

October 19, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 7

On the right side10 midsize cars earn good ratings for passenger-side protection

A new test program aims to ensure that passengers are well-protected in right-side small overlap front crashes. Ten out of 13 midsize cars earn good ratings.

Helping vehicles 'see' motorcyclists could cut crashes

Crash avoidance features on passenger vehicles could prevent or mitigate more than 8,000 crashes with motorcycles if the systems were designed to detect them.

Safety board calls speeding 'national safety issue'

Speeding is a persistent problem on U.S. roads, contributing to the loss of more than 112,500 lives in crashes from 2005 to 2014, the National Transportation Safety Board reports.

Red light cameras reduce injury crashes in Chicago

Red light cameras in Chicago have reduced injury crashes by 10 percent and angle injury crashes by 19 percent, researchers from Northwestern University have found.

August 23, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 6

Stay within the linesLane 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.

Automated parking system pulls drivers' attention away from road

Researchers from IIHS and MIT's AgeLab found that an automated parking system changed the focus of drivers' attention, causing them to look less at the road and more at the dashboard.

GM's rear autobrake reduces crashes

A rear automatic braking system from General Motors is reducing crashes reported to insurers.

Alerts boost teen drivers' turn-signal use

Warning systems help teen drivers improve their turn-signal use and stay in their lanes, but they don't seem to discourage tailgating.

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.

April 12, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 2

Smart picks for teen driversIIHS updates criteria for recommended used vehicles

The Institute's latest list of recommended used vehicles relies on updated criteria to help parents find safe and affordable options for the new drivers in their families.

Progress is slow on alcohol impairment among pedestrians, bicyclists

The percentage of fatally injured pedestrians and bicyclists impaired by alcohol has fallen over the decades, but not as dramatically as the percentage of impaired drivers.

Lund talks truck safety at Senate subcommittee hearing

IIHS President Adrian Lund told a Senate panel that capping truck speeds and adopting crash avoidance technologies could reduce large truck crashes.

February 1, 2017 |Volume 52, Number 1

Near missTwo all-electric cars fall short of earning an IIHS safety award

The Tesla Model S and the BMW i3 fall short of meeting IIHS awards criteria, but two plug-in hybrids earn the 2017 Top Safety Pick+ award.

Regulators finalize noise requirement for hybrids, electric vehicles

Manufacturers have until late 2019 to equip normally quiet hybrid and electric vehicles with noise-making devices to help protect pedestrians.

Older driver road tests appear to cut crashes in Illinois but not New Hampshire

An Illinois requirement that older drivers pass a road test at each renewal has reduced insurance claim rates, but a now-repealed road-test requirement in New Hampshire didn't.

Requiring treatment for interlock violators reduces re-arrest rates

Alcohol-impaired driving offenders are less likely to reoffend after their interlocks are removed if they have been referred for treatment, a recent study found.