IIHS Crash Testing

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts crash tests at their Vehicle Research Center (VRC) as one means towards their goal to “reduce the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from motor vehicle crashes.” Using this data, its engineers rate a vehicle’s performance by giving it a designation like TOP SAFETY PICK+ or TOP SAFETY PICK.  This designation makes it easy for the consumer to compare vehicles when making a vehicle purchase. Which similar to NCAP, motivates vehicle manufacturers to build safer vehicles.

  • Development and Validation Tests: Vehicle manufacturers who do not have the internal capability or capacity to run IIHS tests seek out Calspan to run these additional tests for them. These tests are conducted at Calspan’s state-of-the-art crash lab that is located in Buffalo, N.Y. A lab that was recognized both in 2018 and 2019 by Automotive Testing Technology International as the “Crash Test Facility of the Year”.
  • Test Verification Process: With so many vehicle models on the market, each being refined or refreshed each year, it is nearly impossible for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to test every model. Therefore, in order to provide the consumer with the most comprehensive data, IIHS leverages a process they referred to as “Test Verification.”

    In the simplest terms, “Test Verification” is a process that allows automakers to provide the Institute with crash test data from tests conducted at Calspan.  The Institute utilizes this data to define the vehicle’s ratings. This crash test data can be from a variety of test modes including driver-side small overlap, passenger-side small overlap, moderate overlap, and side impact full vehicle crash tests. These tests are conducted by Calspan according to the Institute’s parameters and include high-speed video footage, intrusion measurements, and crash test dummy injury data.

  • Common Test Modes

Moderate Overlap Frontal Test 
Driver’s Side Small Overlap Test 
Passenger’s Side Small Overlap Test
Side Impact Crash Test 2.0
Semi-Trailer Underride Test Protocol

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