November 20, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 10

Special issue: protection against neck injury in rear crashes

Institute adds dynamic rear impact test to seat/head restraint ratings

The Institute has rated 73 seat/head restraint combinations for rear crash protection using a new dynamic test and a special dummy.

Cars sold in Europe earn better ratings

Among seat/head restraints the Institute evaluated in dynamic tests, more are rated poor overallthan good or acceptable. Proportions are better in Europe.

September 13, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 9

Huge cost of bumper mismatchCars and SUVs don't line up in crashes

In a series of low-speed tests, the Institute demonstrates the high repair costs that result from fender-benders when car and SUV bumpers don't line up.

Bumper mismatch is a real-world problem

Photos of real-world crashes show the consequences of bumper mismatch.

Consumers get new information on side airbags with reduced injury risk

About 60 percent of 2004 models with side airbags meet a voluntary agreement designed to protect children from injury. These vehicles are now recognized in NHTSA's consumer guide.

August 28, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 8

NHTSA crash test procedures don't reflect real-world driver positions

For the second time, IIHS is asking NHTSA to change its procedures for seating dummies in crash tests. The current procedures don't match the way real drivers sit.

Institute comments on NHTSA proposal to require frontal offset tests

The Institute has submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on a proposal to require frontal offset testing.

Many beginning drivers aren't driving the most crashworthy vehicles

In observations of student parking lots, Institute researchers found that the majority of teens were driving vehicles that aren't recommended for novice drivers.

August 1, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 7

Try again on rules on truck driving hours, appeals court tells FMSCA

A federal appeals court has struck down a long-delayed work-hour rule for truck drivers. The rule falls short when it comes to safety.

Evidence mounts that reducing force of airbag inflation lowers risk

Study after study shows reducing inflation forces of frontal airbags has cut deaths caused by airbags. No evidence has emerged to show this reduction has compromised protection.

Court upholds NHTSA's decision to test at 25 mph with unbelted dummies

A federal appeals court sides with NHTSA over its decision to conduct crash tests with unbelted dummies at 25 mph instead of 30 mph.

In other highway safety news …

State legislators have been busy working on laws about safety belts, motorcycle helmets and alcohol-impaired driving.

July 3, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 6

Fourth of July is the day with the most crash deaths

An average of 161 people are killed in crashes on Independence Day. That’s about 40 percent more than on a typical day.

What works and what doesn't to reduce pedestrian crash deaths

An Institute review of research on crashes involving pedestrians has identified several traffic engineering countermeasures that can be effective.

On/off switches for passenger airbags aren’t always used correctly

Some pickups have on/off switches for passenger airbags to protect children, but drivers often don't turn them off when children are seated up front, a government survey has found.

In other highway safety news …

Minnesota's tough penalties for high-BAC offenders work; Oregon's Supreme Court upholds speed cameras; more cities install red light cameras; rulemaking on headlight glare begins.

March 27, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 4

Automakers are adding more persistent reminders to buckle up

Automakers are using a variety of lights and chimes to gently nag drivers to buckle up. Most manufacturers go beyond the brief reminder that is required.

N.C. families heed driving restrictions, despite minimal enforcement

North Carolina teenagers and their parents say they adhere to their state's restrictions on beginning drivers, despite minimal enforcement.

Crashes are the leading cause of death on the job

Nearly 12,000 workers died in crashes between 1992 and 2000, a new report details.

March 6, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 3

Depowered airbags cut the fatality risk for drivers of most vehicles

New Institute research shows that driver protection wasn’t sacrificed when automakers began depowering airbags, beginning with 1998 models.

NHTSA report confirms overall safety disadvantage of lighter vehicles

A NHTSA analysis finds that making all passenger vehicles 100 pounds lighter could cost 1,000 or more lives per year.

Government rollover ratings now include results of dynamic tests

Rollover ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration now include information from a fishhook maneuver test in addition to static measurements.

February 7, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 2

Test performance predicts outcomes in real-world crashes

Drivers of vehicles with good frontal ratings from the Institute are about 74 percent less likely to die than drivers of vehicles rated poor, a new study shows.

Rumble strips down centerline reduce head-on and sideswipe crashes

Rumble strips along the centerlines of undivided, two-lane roads can cut head-on crashes and opposing-direction sideswipes by about 20 percent, Institute researchers have found.

Prior violations often omitted from public records

Drivers found guilty of DWI and other traffic violations had the violations withheld from their public records up to half the time, an Institute study shows.

Drivers with poor records aren't swayed by education alone

Some programs that target drivers with poor records can cut future violations and crashes, but court-initiated education isn't one of them, an Institute-sponsored study has found.

Safety belt education, not enforcement, is planned for truck drivers

About half of commercial truck drivers fail to buckle up. The government is planning an education campaign, but no stepped-up enforcement.

In other highway safety news …

Deaths of older motorcyclists rise in Germany; North Carolina court rules red light cameras are constitutional; drivers using phones are less likely to buckle up.

January 3, 2004 |Volume 39, Number 1

From worst to bestRedesigned Ford F-150 improves in crash test

The redesigned Ford F-150 pickup earns the highest overall rating in the Institute's high-speed frontal crash test. This represents a dramatic improvement from the 2001 model.

Automakers pledge series of steps to improve crash compatibility

Fifteen automakers have committed to voluntary standards that will boost head protection in front-to-side crashes and help reduce underride and override in front-to-front crashes.

Few approaches to reducing deer collisions have proved effective

Many different methods for preventing crashes with deer have been tried, and the results have been mixed.

Temporary warning signs reduce deer hits

Temporary warning signs, posted in spring and fall when mule deer migrate, are an effective and affordable way to reduce collisions.