IIHS Crash Test Ratings Explained

IIHS Crash Test Ratings Explained

Front Collision Prevention:

IIHS also tests cars that claim to detect and prevent front collisions.

“These systems are primarily aimed at preventing low to moderate-speed collisions, although many also work at highway speeds and can reduce the severity of a crash,” Rader said.

The test involves an engineer driving the vehicle straight toward an inflatable target that is designed to simulate the back of a car. A GPS system and other sensors monitor the test vehicle’s lane position, speed, time to collision, braking and other data. Simultaneously, an onboard camera captures the test run from the driver’s perspective and monitors any warnings issued by the front crash prevention systems.

This test is done at two speeds: 12 MPH and 25 MPH. Points are awarded based on how well the automatic braking system slows the car in each test, while an additional point are available for having an adequate warning system. Vehicles can earn a maximum of six points for front crash prevention. Vehicles that get just one point earn a “Basic” rating while an “Advanced” rating requires two to four points. Finally, a “Superior” rating requires the full six.