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New Car Crash Test Announced. Why’s it Important?

site login boxRecently the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced an addition to their testing suite, the small overlap frontal test. This test is designed to simulate what happens when the front corner of a car hits another vehicle or an object such as a utility pole or tree. In the test, 25 percent of the front end of the car (on the driver's site) impacts a 5-foot-tall rigid barrier at 40mph. This test, along with the rest of the IIHS test suite, is designed to replicate real-world crashes.

Why is this test needed? While most new cars perform well in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) full frontal crash test and the IIHS's moderate offset frontal test, there are still over 10,000 deaths in frontal crashes each year. Many of those deaths result from small overlap crashes.

These articles from the IIHS and Consumer Reports provide more information about the test.

For more information about vehicle ratings see NHTSA's site and the IIHS vehicle ratings section.