December 15, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 11

A record number of models earn TOP SAFETY PICK as automakers make changes to win

This year's list of winners of the highest safety accolade from IIHS includes vehicles in nearly ever size category.

New Jersey teen decals boost citations, not compliance

A New Jersey law intended to help police enforce graduated licensing restrictions by requiring young drivers to display decals hasn't increased compliance with the restrictions.

Early months of driving are riskiest for teens, monitoring study confirms

Crashes and near crashes are more common in the first six months of independent driving than later, a study that monitored teen drivers with cameras and other sensors has found.

November 17, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 10

Hybrid advantageHybrids' injury odds are lower than their gas-powered twins

Hybrids have a safety edge over their conventional twins, new HLDI research shows. The lower injury odds are in large part due to their bigger weight.

Hybrids chalk up more injury claims for pedestrians

Hybrids may be as much as 20 percent more likely to injure pedestrians than nonhybrid vehicles because of their quiet motors.

Teens' crash risk rises when they drive models built for performance

Teenagers are more likely to crash than drivers their parents' age. That extra risk is amplified when they ride motorcycles or drive sports cars, a HLDI study shows.

Alcohol-detection device project is now in development phase

Developers of advanced in-vehicle detection technology have two years to build a system that reliably determines a driver’s blood alcohol concentration in a third of a second.

October 13, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 9

Take your pickMore boosters are doing a good job, new ratings show

More boosters are providing good belt fit for children, the latest ratings show. IIHS has awarded a record 31 seats the BEST BET designation this year.

Inflatable booster earns top rating

The BubbleBum, the first inflatable seat tested by the Institute and a BEST BET, provides a solution for traveling and car pools.

Kids in crashes fare better if states have tough restraint laws

Expanding child restraint laws to cover children through ages 7 or 8 reduces crash injuries among booster-age kids, a new IIHS study finds.

Onboard recorder rule for trucks and buses hits roadblock in court case

A proposal to mandate onboard recorders for all interstate carriers may be delayed after a similar requirement for carriers with major hours-of-service violations was struck down.

September 28, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 8

Better compatibility has lessened the danger that SUVs and pickups pose to people in cars

Recent changes to SUVs and cars have made crashes involving the two vehicle types less dangerous. Even pickups aren't nearly the danger to people in cars that they were before.

Older drivers sense when they should limit their trips

Older drivers often voluntarily put limits on their driving. The more impairments an older driver has, the more limits they place on themselves, a new study finds.

ESC benefits keep adding up as feature becomes standard

A new federal analysis of electronic stability control indicates the technology cuts by a fifth the probability that a vehicle will be in a fatal crash.

August 18, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 7

Low-hanging fruitExisting countermeasures merit renewed attention

Tried-and-true strategies such as safety belt and helmet laws and lower speed limits don't grab headlines, but they still have the potential to save many lives.

Kids should use rear-facing seats at least until 2

The American Academy of Pediatrics now says children should ride rear-facing until age 2 or until they reach the height or weight limits of their restraints.

July 19, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 6

Volvo's City Safety prevents low-speed crashes and cuts insurance costs

A new HLDI study indicates that Volvo SUVs with a low-speed forward collision avoidance system get into fewer crashes than comparable vehicles without the feature.

Forward collision warning systems available by manufacturer

A list of systems on 2011 models by vehicle make 

Red light cameras see solid support in latest survey

Two-thirds of drivers in 14 big cities with longstanding red light camera programs support their use, a new IIHS survey shows.

Revamped labels to help curb sale of unsafe helmets

New labeling requirements for motorcycle helmets should make it harder to sell flimsy novelty headgear.

June 9, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 5

Death rates by modelSUV drivers are among least likely to be killed

Drivers in all types of vehicles are less likely to be killed in crashes than in the past. The change has been especially dramatic for SUVs.

Exploring ways to optimize ESC for all vehicles

ESC is working as intended under a new federal requirement, IIHS concludes following track tests.

April 26, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 4

Safety now comes in green1st crash tests of electric cars

The Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf earn the highest safety ratings from IIHS in the first U.S. crash tests of plug-in electric cars.

Truckers still need more rest than plan allows

Truckers could continue to work long hours without adequate rest under a proposed revision to hours-of-service rules, though drivers on a seven-day schedule would get more rest.

Institute supports broader mandate for recorders

Federal regulators have proposed requiring interstate carriers to install electronic recorders on large trucks and buses to track driving time, something IIHS has long supported.

New ejection rule may spur changes in side airbags

A new federal standard means side airbags will deploy in rollovers as well as side impacts. IIHS supports the rule but has concerns about other changes it requires.

March 30, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 3

Pedestrians stand to benefit from new vehicle technology and designs

Engineers are adding technology to vehicles to help drivers avoid hitting pedestrians and modifying vehicle designs to soften impacts.

Cars can brake for pedestrians if drivers don't

Volvo has already brought a pedestrian detection system to the U.S. market. Other automakers are close behind.

Silence isn't golden when it comes to hybrids, electrics

A new law requires hybrid and electric vehicles to be equipped with sounds to warn pedestrians of their presence.

Oesch retires from Institute

Stephen L. Oesch has retired after 29 years with the Institute. Most recently he served as secretary-treasurer and senior vice president for insurer and government relations.

March 1, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 2

Crash tests demonstrate the need for new underride guard standards

Underride guards that meet federal standards can fail in relatively low-speed crashes, new IIHS tests show.

Regulators slow to act on upgrade

IIHS has been studying the underride problem for decades, but federal standards have been slow to change.

More people buckle up amid higher fines for violations

Increasing fines for violating safety belt laws can boost compliance, new research shows.

Laura P. Sullivan, former Institute chairman, dies at 63

Laura P. Sullivan, the only woman to serve as chairman of the Institute’s board of directors, died Dec. 10, 2010. She was 63.

February 1, 2011 |Volume 46, Number 1

Special issue: red light running

Red light running kills; red light cameras save lives

Opponents of red light cameras contend the devices are a scheme to pick motorists’ pockets. The truth is that cameras save lives, a new IIHS study shows.

Common thread binds crashes despite different story lines

Just like the lives they ended, the circumstances surrounding these crashes were unique. But in every case someone ran a red light.

City uses cameras as safety tool, not moneymaker

Less than three years after being switched on, the red light cameras in Springfield, Mo., were $33,000 in the red. Fortunately, making money was never the goal.