Official: IIHS introduces new test for avoiding crashes, not surviving them [w/videos]

Filed under: Safety, Technology, Videos

IIHS collision prevention test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is once again looking to improve how it rates new cars in order to make it easier for shoppers to buy the safest cars on the market. In addition to recent test additions like the roof crush and small overlap frontal crash, the IIHS will now be adding collision avoidance technologies to its criteria for attaining a Top Safety Pick+ rating.

Since the safest way to survive a crash is to avoid it altogether, the IIHS developed a procedure (click the above image for an enlarged version of what the test looks like) and an accompanying rating system to test the various crash-avoidance systems currently offered by almost all automakers. This entails putting forward collision warning and autonomous braking systems to the test at speeds of 12 and 25 miles per hour to see how well the systems do to either prevent or reduce impact speeds. Vehicles are then given a rating from Superior (best), Advanced or Basic; cars that do not offer FCW or auto braking are not given a rating. To earn a 2014 Top Safety Pick+ rating, a vehicle must earn at least a Basic rating in this test.

To kick off the new procedure, the IIHS tested 74 “moderately priced” midsize vehicles. Subaru came out on top with Legacy and Outback models equipped with EyeSight avoiding collisions at both speeds. Cadillac’s Automatic Collision Preparation avoided a collision at the lower speed and reduced the impact speeds in the ATS and SRX at the 25-mph test. The Volvo S60 and XC60 also performed well with City Safety, Collision Warning with Auto Brake and Pedestrian Detection, while the Mercedes-Benz C-Class with Distronic Plus rounded out the top seven vehicles that received the Superior rating. Six vehicles earned the Advanced rating, 25 vehicles received the Basic rating and 36 vehicles did not offer a crash avoidance system.

While the ultimate goal is to make driving safer, the organization is also trying to make vehicle repair following accidents less expensive. As an example of this, a 2013 Mercedes C-Class was crashed into a Chevy Malibu (the IIHS loves crashing Malibus, doesn’t it?) at both test speeds. At 12 mph, the damage to both vehicles was $5,715, but the 25-mph test resulted in $28,131 worth of damage and the Malibu being totaled. Scroll down for more information on this new test procedure and to watch a series of videos from the IIHS explaining its test and the technology required to make it work.

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IIHS introduces new test for avoiding crashes, not surviving them [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 27 Sep 2013 00:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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