IIHS explains frontal offset 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.
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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.