What is the insurance institute for highway safety?
IIHS was founded in 1959 by three major insurance associations that represent 80 percent of the U.S. auto insurance market. At first, the institute aimed to support highway safety efforts by others. A decade later, IIHS was re-invented as an independent research organization. William Haddon Jr., MD, who served as the country’s first federal highway safety chief, oversaw the change after becoming president of the IIHS in 1969. By then, he had already led the transformation of the highway safety field, focusing solely on accident prevention. Using a modern, scientific method to identify the full range of options to reduce crash damage. Specifically:
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Humanities research solves problems related to adolescent drivers, alcohol-impaired driving, truck driver fatigue, and seat belt use, to name a few.
Vehicle research focuses on both crash avoidance and crushability. Crash experiments have become the focus of Crashworthiness Research, and have expanded with the opening of the IIHS Testing Vehicle Research Center (VRC).
Research on the physical environment includes, for example, the evaluation of road design to reduce accidents and reduce roadside hazards.
This scientific method has been remarkably successful. The number of people killed on the streets in the United States, though still much higher, has been declining since 1979, and even the population and the number of miles driven have increased. Much of this improvement is due to safer vehicles.
At the same time, the IIHS acknowledges that car design is not the whole story and continues to look for ways to improve driver behavior and road design. For example, our work has led more states to adopt the primary seat belt law and graduate licensing requirements and has encouraged communities to create roundabouts and apply automation with red lights and motion cameras.
Vehicle Research Center
In 1992, IIHS opened VRC. Located in the foothills of Central Virginia, this state-of-the-art facility is where IIHS conducts crash tests that form the basis of its highly recommended vehicle ratings.
Aerial shots of VRC
The VRC test helps consumers make informed decisions. Vehicles are rated for safety based on performance in several tests, and the best performers carry the title of Top Safety Pick + or Top Safety Pick. IIHS tests have encouraged automakers to produce safer vehicles, which is the ultimate goal. Knowing that consumers consult ratings before buying, manufacturers design cars and trucks with these tests in mind.
When IIHS began its moderate overlap frontal crash test in 1995, nearly half of the vehicles achieved marginal or poor ratings, and many more were rated from good to bad. Today almost all vehicles achieve good ratings for protection in a moderate overlap frontal crash. Similarly, when side effect testing began in 2003, many vehicles did not achieve top ratings, while most get better ratings today. Rear and rollover ratings have also improved.
To help improve crash protection, IIHS introduced small overlap front tests in 2012. The front corner of a car is designed to replicate what happens when it collides with another vehicle or object, such as a tree or utility pole. Meanwhile, manufacturers are working to address this new challenge and improve protection against such crashes.
IIHS took its test to a new level in 2013 when it started rating vehicles for frontal accident prevention. Technology that can warn of an impending oncoming collision or trigger autonomous braking is part of a growing segment of crash avoidance features that have the potential to take vehicle safety to new levels.
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Highway Loss Data Institute
HLDI is a non-profit research organization that publishes insurance loss statistics on models of cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and motorcycles on most roads in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1972, HLDI regularly analyzes losses under six insurance coverage – collision, property damage liability, personal injury protection, medical care, bodily injury liability, and comprehensive (including theft). HLDI collects data from companies representing more than 85 percent of the U.S. market for personal passenger car insurance. Its database is the largest repository of national information in the world.
Data from HLDI helps car buyers choose information. Insurance losses vary widely among vehicles – even those that are similar in size and type. Some competing models may experience much less occupant injury than others and may be less expensive to insure. HLDI reveals insurance losses by make and model. Through its ability to analyze and utilize such information, HLDI has become a major source of public information about insurance losses for automobiles and other passenger vehicles.
HLDI also analyzes the impact of various safety and crash avoidance features, such as electronic stability control (ESC), forward collision warning, and adaptive headlights.
One of HLDI’s first investigations was that collision coverage losses for large car models weren’t high, although most people assumed they were. It has been observed that the loss of collision coverage of small vehicles was greater, despite the widespread belief that small vehicles provide greater mobility to avoid accidents.
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HLDI research has shown that vehicles equipped with ESC show significantly lower overall collision damage, with a reduction of 15 to 17 percent. With this knowledge, more and more manufacturers are beginning to incorporate the features of their vehicles, including data from IIHS research at ESC. The federal government now needs technology in all new passenger vehicles.
As manufacturers introduce new crash-avoidance features, HLDI is testing their real-world functionality.
The work of HLDI has been modeled all over the world. Countries such as Canada, Australia, and South Korea have formed associations that collect and publish similar information.
The country’s roads have changed a lot since the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was established more than half a century ago – and many of those changes have been the result of IIHS work. Here are some key dates from our history.
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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has further improved its auto-emergency braking test as it has now become much easier.
According to IIHS, automakers now meet the standards it set when testing began in 2013.
Many more vehicles are now equipped with automatic-emergency braking than nine years ago. So the actual test, which used speeds of 12 miles and 25 miles per hour, is a bit old in the eyes of the IIHS.
“Fortunately, in the real world, AEB systems are using our experimental program to prevent crashes at speeds in excess of 25 miles per hour,” said David Kidd, IIHS Senior Research Scientist, author of a new study. “The problem is that our current assessment doesn’t tell us how well certain systems work at that speed.”
The institute says about 85 percent of vehicles in the 2022 model year have achieved a “higher” rating.
By 2023, the test will use speeds of 35 and 45 mph and will expand to see how well each system can detect motorcycles and large trucks. This is because rear-ended collisions are most common at speeds of up to 35-45 miles per hour, and fatalities are common when collisions involve large trucks or motorcycles.
To achieve a top safety pick + node, a car must score an “advanced” or “higher” rating.
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