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Access our comprehensive bibliography. For front crash prevention ratings, the Institute conducts low- and moderate-speed track tests of vehicles with automatic braking systems. The descriptions below explain how each test is conducted and how the translate into ratings. For the crash tests we conduct, we purchase the vehicles from dealers just like an ordinary consumer. If the test is being conducted at the manufacturer's request and isn't part of our regular testing schedule, then the Adult singles dating in Collison reimburses us for the vehicle.

Transparency is one of the keys to the success of our ratings program. All of our test protocols are available here. A frontal crash is the most common type of crash resulting in fatalities. IIHS conducts three different frontal crash tests: a moderate overlap test formerly known as the frontal offset testa driver-side small overlap test and a passenger-side small overlap test.

When we began our moderate overlap frontal tests, the majority of vehicles were rated poor or marginal. Today, all vehicles earn good ratings. Occupant compartments are much stronger than they used to be. They hold up in a crash and allow safety belts and airbags to do their jobs. In the moderate overlap frontal test, a vehicle travels at 40 mph toward a barrier with a deformable face made of aluminum honeycomb. The barrier face is just over 2 feet tall.

A Hybrid III dummy representing an average-size man is positioned in the driver seat. Forty percent of the total width of the vehicle strikes the barrier on the driver side. The forces in the test are similar to those that would result from a frontal offset crash between two vehicles of the same weight, each going just under 40 mph.

To help encourage further improvements in frontal crash protection, the Institute in introduced a driver-side small overlap frontal crash test. The test is deed to replicate what happens when the front left corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object like a tree or utility pole. This crash test is a challenge for some safety belt and airbag des because occupants move both forward and toward the side of the vehicle. In the driver-side small overlap frontal Adult singles dating in Collison, a vehicle travels at 40 mph toward a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier.

Twenty-five percent of the total width of the vehicle strikes the barrier on the driver side. Most modern cars have safety cages encapsulating the occupant compartment and built to withstand head-on collisions and moderate overlap frontal crashes with little deformation. At the same time, crush zones help manage crash energy to reduce forces on the occupant compartment. The main crush-zone structures are concentrated in the middle 50 percent of the front end.

When a crash involves these structures, the occupant compartment is protected from intrusion, and front airbags and safety belts can effectively restrain and protect occupants. Small overlap frontal crashes primarily affect a vehicle's outer edges, which aren't well protected by the crush-zone structures. Crash forces go directly into the front wheel, suspension system and firewall. It is not uncommon for the wheel to be forced rearward into the footwell, contributing to even more intrusion in the occupant compartment and resulting in serious leg and foot injuries.

To provide effective protection in small overlap crashes, the safety cage needs to resist crash forces that aren't tempered by crush-zone structures. Widening these front-end structures also helps. Manufacturers have responded to the driver-side small overlap test by improving vehicle structures and airbags, and most vehicles now earn good ratings. However, IIHS research tests demonstrated that those improvements didn't always carry over to the passenger side. Discrepancies between the left and right sides of vehicles spurred us to develop a passenger-side small overlap test and begin issuing passenger-side ratings in The passenger-side test is the Adult singles dating in Collison as the driver-side test except the vehicle overlaps the barrier on the right side.

In addition, instead of just one Hybrid III dummy, there are two — one in the driver seat and one in the passenger seat. Engineers consider three factors to determine how a vehicle rates in the moderate overlap and small overlap frontal tests: structural performance, injury measures and dummy movement.

The amount and pattern of intrusion shows how well the front-end crush zone managed the crash energy and how well the safety cage held up. Injury measures: Sensors in the dummy — or dummies, in the case of passenger-side small overlap — are used to determine the likelihood that a driver or passenger would sustain various types of injuries in a similar real-world crash.

Measures recorded by sensors in the head, neck, chest, legs and feet of the dummy indicate the level of stress or strain on that part of the body — in other words, the risk of injury. A close call for a dummy could be an actual injury for a person. Before each crash test, technicians put greasepaint on the dummy's head, knees and lower legs. After the test, the paint shows what parts of the vehicle came into contact with those parts of the dummy. The paint, combined with high-speed film footage of the crash, allows engineers to evaluate the movement of the dummy or dummies.

How do vehicles that earn good ratings in the moderate overlap frontal test perform in similar real-world crashes? An analysis of 14 years worth of crash data involving IIHS-rated vehicles shows that a driver of a vehicle rated good in the moderate overlap test is 46 percent less likely to die in a frontal crash, compared with a driver of a vehicle rated poor.

A driver of a vehicle rated acceptable or marginal is 33 percent less likely to die than a driver of a poorly rated one. Since the Institute only started evaluating vehicles for protection in small overlap frontal crashes inwe don't have comparable data on how vehicles with good small overlap ratings fare in the real world.

Frontal crash test can't be used to compare vehicle performance across weight classes. That's because the kinetic energy involved in the moderate overlap and small overlap frontal tests depends on the speed and weight of the test vehicle. Thus, the crash is more severe for heavier vehicles.

Given equivalent frontal ratings, the heavier of two vehicles usually offers better protection in real-world crashes. InIIHS demonstrated this principle with a series of tests in which small cars were crashed into larger cars, all of which had good frontal ratings in the moderate overlap test. For information about how ratings are kept up-to-date from one model year to the next, see our test verification information. The Institute runs offset frontal tests instead of full-width frontal tests. In an offset crash only one side of a vehicle's front end, not the full width, hits the barrier.

As a result, a smaller part of the structure has to manage the crash energy, and intrusion into the occupant compartment is more likely. An offset test is more demanding of a vehicle's structure than a full-width test, while a full-width test is more demanding of safety belts and airbags. In a full-width test, there is less crushing of the vehicle structure so the decelerations that these restraints must handle are greater. Together, the tests provide a more complete picture of frontal crashworthiness than either test by itself.

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NCAP has been extremely successful. Automakers responded by improving their vehicles to earn good ratings, giving them a higher level of frontal crashworthiness than is required by law. By the s, most vehicles were performing well in the full-width frontal test. InNHTSA announced an enhanced 5-star rating system that toughened criteria and combined ratings from its different tests into a single rating to provide consumers an overall view of vehicle safety. The NCAP changes apply to and later models.

Side crashes for about a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in the United States. Protecting people in side crashes is challenging because the sides of vehicles have relatively little space to absorb energy and shield occupants, unlike the fronts and rears, which have substantial crumple zones. Automakers have made big strides in side protection by installing side airbags and strengthening the structures of vehicles. The Institute's testing program has played a key role in bringing about these improvements. Side airbags, which today are standard on most new passenger vehicles, are deed to keep people from colliding with the inside of the vehicle and with objects outside the vehicle in a side crash.

They also help by spreading impact forces over a larger area of an occupant's body. However, side airbags by themselves are not enough. Strong structures that work well with the airbags also are crucial. IIHS began its side test program in At that point, the federal government was already performing side tests on new passenger vehicles as part of the New Car Assessment Adult singles dating in Collison.

But we were concerned that the government's test didn't completely capture the types of crashes likely to occur in the real world. That's because the moving barrier used in the government's test was developed in the early s, when most of the vehicles on the road were cars, before SUVs and pickups became as prevalent as they are today. The height of the barrier's front end is below the he of the crash test dummies.

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As a result, the federal test doesn't assess the much greater risk of head injury from impacts with taller vehicles. To fill this gap, we initiated our own test with a different barrier — one with the height and shape of the front end of a typical SUV or pickup. In the Institute's test, a 3,pound SUV-like barrier hits the driver side of the vehicle at 31 mph. Two SID-IIs dummies representing small 5th percentile women or year-old children are positioned in the driver seat and the rear seat behind the driver.

IIHS was the first in the United States to use this smaller dummy in a test for consumer information. It was chosen because women are more likely than men to suffer serious head injuries in real-world side impacts. Shorter drivers have a greater chance of having their he come into contact with the front end of the striking vehicle in a left-side crash.

Our side test is severe.

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It's unlikely that people in comparable real-world crashes would emerge uninjured. With good side protection, however, people should be able to survive a crash of this severity without serious injuries. Engineers look at three factors to determine side ratings: driver and passenger injury measures, head protection and structural performance.

Injury measures: Injury measures from the two dummies are used to determine the likelihood that occupants would sustain ificant injuries in a real-world crash.

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Measures are recorded from the head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis and femur. These injury measures, especially the ones from the head and upper body, are major components of each vehicle's overall side rating. Head protection: To supplement head injury measures, technicians put greasepaint on the Adult singles dating in Collison he before each crash test. After the test, the paint shows what parts of the vehicle or the barrier came into contact with the he.

If the vehicle has airbags and they perform correctly, the paint should end up on them. In cases when the barrier hits a dummy's head during impact, the dummy usually records very high injury measures.

That might not be true, however, with a "near miss" or a grazing contact. The paint, along with footage of the test recorded on high-speed film, helps identify such cases, which is important because small differences in occupants' heights or seating positions compared with those of the test dummies could result in a hard contact and high risk of serious head injury.

Some intrusion into the occupant compartment is inevitable in serious side impacts, but it shouldn't seriously compromise the driver and passenger space. As with head protection, this is another assessment that helps evaluate the injury risk of occupants who aren't exactly the same size or sitting in exactly the same positions as the dummies.

In the real world, a driver of a vehicle rated good is 70 percent less likely to die in a left-side crash, compared with a driver of a vehicle rated poor. A driver of a vehicle rated acceptable is 64 percent less likely to die, and a driver of a vehicle rated marginal is 49 percent less likely to die. Those s come from an analysis of a decade's worth of crash data on Institute-rated vehicles.

Only vehicles with standard side airbags were included, and the demonstrate that just having airbags doesn't guarantee good protection. Our tests show how airbags and a vehicle's structure work together in an actual crash. If the occupant space remains largely intact, then the safety belts and side airbags have time to control the motion of the crash test dummies and keep injury measures low. That's less likely to happen if the side of the vehicle is ificantly crushed. Unlike frontal crash test ratings, side ratings can be compared across vehicle type and weight. This is because the kinetic energy involved in the side test depends on the weight and speed of the moving barrier, which are the same in every test.

In contrast, the kinetic energy involved in the frontal crash test depends on the speed and weight of the test vehicle.

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