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AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
Crash test dummies help put our vehicles to the test to determine just how safe they are, but just how much work goes into a dummy to make it as close to a human being as possible?
According to a recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an important safety feature for child seats is being overlooked by parents and caregivers.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently conducted tests on the underride guards of most big rig trailers, finding that in crashes involving only a small portion of the truck’s rear, most trailers failed to prevent potentially deadly underride.
After several announcements of various models that were awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick Plus” rating, the IIHS has released its full list of its safest cars for 2013.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has released its 2012 report on children’s booster seats recognizing an improvement on most new seats.
Understanding how a vehicle will react in a crash is serious concern and is tested thoroughly, but now IIHS has released a listing of real world insurance claim statistics, that shows exactly what is happening to our vehicles out on the roads.
With the abundance of safety features available in modern cars, it could be confusing as to what’s available on each car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has launched a new section on its website that helps simplify car shopping.
Newly implemented crash safety tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have redefined what a safe car is, with the first round of vehicles submitted to the latest procedure not faring well. In total just three of 11 luxury models tested had acceptable results.
It’s been a decade since the federal government required that all passenger vehicles have the LATCH system for car seats – and most parents still can’t figure out how it works.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), parents who want to keep their kids safe are finding it difficult to properly install child restraints in vehicles using the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH for short). If you’ve cursed under your breath trying to figure out how it works, you can thank the automakers for your frustration. A report released by the IIHS and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute states that automakers design seats in ways that make LATCH difficult to use.
In today’s safety conscious world, having a vehicle earn “Top Pick” status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a big deal for many automakers, especially when it’s not just one car, but the entire brand’s lineup.
Buick has already been awarded IIHS top safety picks for its LaCrosse and Regal sedans, plus the Enclave crossover and now the Verano compact sedan, which was recently bestowed with the same award. That means each model in the current 2012 Buick lineup has been awarded Top Pick status, with the exceptions of the Encore compact crossover, since it hasn’t hit the market yet.
According to IIHS president Adrian Lund the results indicate that “Buick is building state-of-the-art crash protection into every model from the ground up. This means the best overall protection in the most common kinds of crashes, along with standard electronic stability control for helping drivers to stay out of many crashes to begin with.”
Among the key features that have enabled current Buicks to enjoy Top Pick safety status, include the use of high strength steel in the vehicle body structure, ABS and panic braking technology, collapsible pedals, GM’s Stabilitrak dynamic control system and a plethora of airbags – the Verano alone has 10 of them.
Lund’s sentiments are echoed by Jack R. Nerad, veteran auto journalist and editorial director of Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com website, who stated in response to the Top Safety pick awards that “Buick buyers want to make certain that any vehicle they buy has state-of-the-art safety features. With this in mind, Buick engineers have incorporated an unprecedented combination of safety systems to more than address that need.”
Interestingly, the newest IIHS Top Pick Buick, the Verano, was also named by kbb.com as one of it’s “Ten Best sedans under $25,000.” Clearly it seems that Buick is indeed back.
Watch the IIHS Verano crash test below.
The all-new Mazda CX-5 is shaping up to be an attractive crossover option for buyers (read our review here) and those who placed their orders will be happy to know it was just named a Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The CX-5 achieved a “Good” rating (highest possible) on all four tests conducted by the IIHS: front, side and rear impact crash tests, and a roof strength test.
The Mazda CX-5 Sport starts at $20,695 and boasts an EPA rating of 26-mpg city, 35-mpg highway. Standard is a Skyactiv six-speed manual transmission, though an automatic is available as an option. The CX-5 is built on the Japanese automaker’s new Skyactiv-Body and Skyactiv-Chassis, helping ensure it has a reinforced vehicle structure that is as quiet as it is rigid and secure.
Other standard safety equipment includes six airbags, four-wheel disk brakes, ABS, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, fold-away brake pedal assembly, front and rear crumple zones, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners, Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Earning a ‘Top Safety Pick’ distinction from the IIHS further exemplifies Mazda’s dedication for creating products that offer the best of everything that consumers want: fuel economy, performance, handling and, most importantly, safety,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations.
Watch the Mazda CX-5 earn a “Good” on its 40-mph frontal offset test after the break.
The 2012 Nissan Versa is not only one of the cheapest new cars for sale in North America, but it is also one of the safest.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has just awarded the new Versa sedan its top scoring honor of “Good” for front, rear, and side impact protection. It also was given the “Good” rating for the roof strength test, which looks at how a car would behave in case of a roll-over. These scores landed the Versa on the IIHS ‘top safety pick list’ for 2012.
The IIHS also looked at the safety features the Versa sedan comes with as standard, like six air-bags, ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle dynamic control and traction control. Not bad for a car that has a base price of $10,990.
AutoGuide tested the Versa sedan a few months ago, and we were quite impressed with its spacious interior, its fuel economy and its entry price point.
Both manufacturers get to tout top honors in 2012 thanks to their safety-conscious cars. Subaru is now the only manufacturer that can claim IIHS Top Safety Picks for every one of their models.
Subaru won five awards in total to earn those bragging rights. ”It’s tough to win, and we commend Subaru for making safety a top priority,” said Institute president Adrian Lund.
Bragging rights aside, there is another safety king in the ring and despite not scoring top picks on all their models, Volvo still managed to swing the same five awards.
Safety is a key concern for both companies, but Volvo has long been the industry leader in packing their cars with innovative features meant to keep passengers out of harm.
They were the first company to introduce blind spot detection and are crediting this year’s wins to their innovative City Safety technology. At low speeds it offers an automatic braking feature that the IIHS found to reduce collisions by as much as 22 percent.
In a display of continuing safety advancements in automobiles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that more vehicles have earned the “top safety pick” this year after manufacturers have strengthened the roofs of their vehicles to improve its rollover safety.
Sixty-nine cars, thirty-eight SUVs, five minivans, and three pickups made the “top safety pick” list after passenger safety crashes to the front, side and rear, as well as rollover.
Toyota Motor Corp and Subaru especially excelled as Toyota’s list of top safety pick vehicles grew by three– the Yaris, Camry and Prius hybrid. Subaru is the only automaker to have its entire 2012 line-up earn the highest grade.
[Source: Automotive News]
Making its way on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick for 2012 is the all-new Buick Verano. This raises General Motors IIHS Top Safety Pick award count to 14 in 2012 – not too shabby.
Equipped with 10 standard air bags, the Verano came out with a good score in the IIHS tests for front and side crash tests, roof strength test, and rear impact test. The Verano also features standard electronic stability control, which the IIHS requires for Top Safety Pick designation.
“GM set a goal that every new product would be designed to meet or exceed the third-party metrics that IIHS and others use to communicate crash worthiness to consumers,” said Gay Kent, GM executive director of Vehicle Safety. “We are now seeing the results from that commitment.”
Of the GM vehicles that made it to IIHS’s 2012 Top Safety Pick award list, 13 models had previously qualified for the 2011 award. These vehicles were carried over to 2012 because its structure is substantially the same as the IIHS tested for 2011. Carrying over for 2012 awards are the Buick LaCrosse, Regal and Enclave; the Chevrolet Cruze, Sonic, Volt, Equinox, Malibu and Traverse; the Cadillac CTS (sedan) and SRX, and GMC Terrain and Acadia.
Congratulations are in order for Volkswagen. The Routan has just earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award, making it the ninth Volkswagen vehicle to receive this rating. This also means that Volkswagen has received the highest number of IIHS awards for vehicle safety.
Helping them reach this coveted spot, Volkswagen scored high marks with 2011 models including Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, CC, Passat, Tiguan, Touareg, Golf and GTI. To drive away with a Top Safety Pick award, vehicles must earn a rating of Good in the IIHS crash-test series, which includes front, side and rear crash tests, as well as pass the roof-strength test. That means that these VW vehicles provide the best overall protection in the most common accident situations.
“We’re delighted that the Routan has been given this prestigious award. We are even more delighted that Volkswagen now leads the American automotive industry with nine Top Safety Picks,” said Jonathan Browning, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. “This is the reward for all the hard work we continually put in the development of new technologies for our cars.”
The 2012 Chrysler Town & Country, Dodge Grand Caravan, and Volkswagen Routan all earned Top Safety Pick awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
These vehicles, which all share the same structure, earned high marks when it came to providing protection in rollover crashes, garnering the highest rating of Good in front-, side-, rollover- and rear-crash protection. These three minivans join the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna as Top Safety Picks.
Two vehicles that didn’t make the grade were the Kia Sedona and Nissan Quest minivans. These vehicles didn’t fair very well when it came to the rollover category, but earned Good scores in all the other tests. Overall, the Sedona earned a Poor rollover rating while the Quest achieved an Acceptable score.
“Safety-conscious parents shopping for a family hauler should be pleased with today’s minivan choices,” said David Zuby, the Institute’s chief research officer. “At the same time, the ratings show that major differences remain in this segment when it comes to protection in a rollover crash.”
To determine rollover protection, the strength of a vehicle’s roof is measured by pushing a metal plate against the roof at a constant speed. To earn a Good rating, a vehicle has to be able to withstand up to four times its weight. The 2012 Town & Country had a strength-to-weight ratio of 4.51, while the Sedona had a rating of 2.31 and the Quest had a rating of 3.36.
A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed a significant drop in fatalities involving accidents between a car or a minivan versus an SUV of comparable weight.
By comparing two sample sets, one used to record the number of crashes involving SUVs registered in 2000-2001 and another to record SUVs from 2008-2009, IIHS discovered that fatalities have decreased from 44 deaths per million registered vehicles to a dramatically improved 16 deaths per million. Only SUVs and trucks weighing between 3,000 to 3,499 pounds were recognized for the study.
Specialists have concluded that the positive findings have the continuing innovations on safety to thank. Late model cars and minivans possess more effective crumple zones, stronger structures, as well as curtain airbags. Preemptive sensors such as lane departure and blind spot warnings also improve a driver’s odds of avoiding an accidentally completely.
Newer SUVs and pickups have also lowered their crumple structures to better align with cars, allowing optimal energy absorption before violent forces from the crash enter into the passenger cabin.