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IIHS Crash Test

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released a video explaining its new frontal offset crash test, following last week’s announcement that the Subaru Forester has become the first vehicle to score top marks in its small overlap front crash test.

Filmed at the IIHS’s vehicle research centre, the video shows how the frontal offset crash test works and explains why the IIHS believes new car manufacturers must start engineering their cars for the limited-contact impacts.

Introduced in 2012, the small overlap front crash test sees 25 per cent of a vehicle’s driver’s side front end strike a barrier at 64km/h, aimed at replicating the impact of a vehicle’s front corner contacting another vehicle or an object such as a tree or telephone pole.


The only car out of 13 ‘Small SUVs’ tested to earn a ‘good’ rating in the test, the new Subaru Forester was praised by IIHS vice president for vehicle research Joe Nolan for its industry-first safety achievement.

“This is exactly how we hoped manufacturers would respond to improve protection for people in these kinds of serious frontal crashes,” Nolan said.

Also highlighted in the video are vehicle structural performances, dummy injury measurements and the effectiveness of restraint systems such as seatbelts and airbags.

  • union

    The Manufactures have been complaining about the new offset test as they are receiving poor performance ratings. They don’t want to have to invest more time and money into making their cars safer. The only way to force manufactures to improve the safety of their vehicles is to created higher standards. Thumbs up to the US safety ratings improvements!

    • safety sam

      You are absolutely right! It has become far to easy for car companies to achieve a 5 star safety rating. The tests from safety authorities (worldwide) need to become more rigorous.

      • TheRealThomas

        What they need to do is create 6 and 7 star ratings rather than make it harder to achieve a 5 star rating, that way cars can be compared over the years also.

  • mo

    I love the work the IIHS does. They are really pushing the envelope on vehicle safety. This new test will keep the vehicle manufacturers on their toes. The forces in this type of crash must be immense.

  • Poison_Eagle

    We’ve had 64km/h tests since the 90’s, it’s time to introduce 100km/h offsets, only then will we see any meaningful safety progress in auto body structures.

    • Guest

      Even if the car is to be able to withstand 100kmh crashes, the human body can’t handle the impact of that nature.

      • Poison_Eagle

        Of course it can’t. However, when it is cuhsioned properly by a car, there’s plenty of examples of people surviving 100 km/h crashes. It’s time to move the game on with safety.