New Side Crash Test to Launch Next Year

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Nov. 21, 2019—The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) researchers and engineers have been weighing changes to side crash tests.

A new test program with a higher impact speed and a heavier, more realistic movable barrier representing a more modern striking vehicle is expected to be launched next year.

Research has also clarified what aspects of the current evaluation work well. Measures collected from the test were found to correlate closely with fatality risk. Thus, the new test will likely use the same dummies and collect similar information as the current one.

The severity of a side crash depends on both the weight of the striking vehicle and its speed. The movable barrier currently used in the IIHS side test weighs 3,300 pounds. At the time the test began, many SUVs on the road were close to that weight, but they have gotten much heavier since.


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