IIHS to Redesign Side-Impact Crash TestJuly 1, 2019
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) began its side-impact crash testing in 2003 after close to 10,000 people were fatally injured each year in devastating T-bone collisions. The current federal test does not account for the growing number of pickup trucks and SUVs, which can cause severe head injuries when one of these vehicles crashes into the side of a passenger vehicle. The agency plans to redesign its side-impact crash test in response to the number of larger vehicles that are on the roads today, and the higher speeds that these vehicles are traveling. IIHS intends to begin factoring the new test into its ratings by 2022.
While the federal government tested vehicles for side-impact collisions in 2003, IIHS felt that their tests did not account for the height of the barrier’s front end, which is below the crash test dummy’s head. When an SUV or other larger vehicle hits the side of another car, the occupant can suffer serious injuries, including head injuries. The current test involves installing an aluminum honeycomb barrier that is close to three feet high and 3,300 pounds onto the side of the test vehicle. Fatalities dropped significantly; however, side-impact fatalities began to rise again in recent years.
Vehicles with Good Ratings Involved in Fatal Crashes
According to an IIHS senior test coordinator, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) complained that they would not be able to pass the original test. However, most vehicles had “good” ratings, which is the highest rating. In the 10 years since the test was created, there have been no failures. Yet, 25 percent of fatal T-bone crashes involve vehicles that received a “good” rating.
The IIHS believes that this is because the moving aluminum barrier weighs less than the average SUV or pickup truck. IIHS engineers suggest that the barrier will need to be redesigned to approximate the front ends of SUVs and pickup trucks more accurately. IIHS studied side-impacts at 37 miles per hour (mph) between test vehicles, including the 2018 Toyota Camry, the 2018 Volkswagen Atlas, the Honda Accord, and the Infiniti QX50, and either a 2018 Honda Pilot, a 2015 Ford F-150, or a typical honeycomb barrier that had an additional 881.8 pounds. Researchers found that the Camry and the Atlas would have maintained their “good” rating when hit by a 4,188.9-pound, 37 mph barrier, but the Accord would have dropped to an “acceptable” rating for structural performance. The QX50 would drop to “moderate.”
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Compensation for Victims of Side-Impact Car Accidents
If you have been injured in a side-impact car accident, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the details of your crash and determine who is responsible for your injuries. Our skilled and experienced legal team will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve, while ensuring that your rights are always protected. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
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