In the latest video from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) series called “Inside IIHS,” we take a look at what keeps us safe during a side-impact crash.
“We’ve come a long way since the Institute’s first release of side impact crash test results in 2003,” said Raul Arbelaez, Vice President of IIHS’ Vehicle Research Center.
To test how safe vehicles are in a side crash, IIHS uses a moving deformable side impact crash test barrier that hits the vehicle at 31 mph. The barrier weighs 3,300 pounds and represents a typical ride height and geometry of a pickup truck or SUV. Two dummies are used in the crash test vehicle and represent a small female and an adolescent in order to measure the sort of injuries that could occur in a side crash.
Side impact testing has been conducted by IIHS since 2003 and thanks to those tests, automakers have been able to further develop the A- and B-pillars on their vehicles to be even safer.
“Back then, most vehicles had safety cages that allowed too much intrusion into the compartment, and side airbags were not standard safety features. Today most safety cages are very strong, limit intrusion into the compartment, and the side airbags do a really nice job of protecting the vital organ areas. As a result we have a vehicle fleet that does a much better job of protecting occupants in side impact crashes.”