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Posts Tagged ‘IIHS’

New, Active Safety Tech Reducing Rear-End Crashes by As Much as 40%

New study finds “significant” benefits from auto-braking and collision warning technology.

by on Jan.28, 2016

An illustration by Mercedes shows how radar-based Emergency Auto Braking works.

New active safety systems, such as forward collision warning and emergency auto-braking, are having a major impact on the number of accidents, injuries and fatalities, according to police reports from the U.S.

According to a deep dive conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, automatic braking systems yield a 40% reduction in rear-end crashes, while collision warning systems alone have cut the collision rate by 23%. The IIHS study estimates that if all vehicles on the road were equipped with these technologies, that would have prevented about 700,000 police-reported rear-end crashes in 2013.

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“The success of front crash prevention represents a big step toward safer roads,” says David Zuby, IIHS chief research officer. “As this technology becomes more widespread, we can expect to see noticeably fewer rear-end crashes. The same goes for the whiplash injuries that often result from these crashes and can cause a lot of pain and lost productivity.”

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Insurance Industry Safety Group Toughens its Testing, Awards Process

Move follows announcement of stricter federal safety procedures.

by on Dec.10, 2015

The Chrysler 200 was the only domestic model to get a Top Safety Pick+ rating for 2016.

A day after the U.S. Department of Transportation announced major revisions to it its automotive safety testing program, an influential insurance industry group announced it would take similar steps.

It will now be more difficult for automakers to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. A total of 48 of all 2016 models qualify for that award using the more rigorous standards, with another 13 getting the lower, Top Safety Pick imprimatur.

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“We asked auto manufacturers to do more this year to qualify for our safety awards, and they delivered,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund.

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the IIHS have been trying to achieve two goals: (more…)

10 Automakers Commit to Making Auto Emergency Braking Standard

Crash avoidance tech will be offered on all future vehicles, but no start date set.

by on Sep.11, 2015

Auto braking is now commonplace on high-end vehicles like the new BMW 750i, but will soon be on most vehicles at all price points.

Ten major vehicle manufacturers from the U.S., Europe and Japan have jointly agreed to make automatic emergency braking systems standard on all their future vehicles.

An advanced form of forward collision warning systems that have already been shown to significantly reduce crashes, have already begun to migrate from high-end luxury models to more mainstream products and a number of automakers already offer auto braking technology as optional equipment. But the announcement means it would become all but ubiquitous.

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The move appears to allow the auto industry to take the lead in rolling out auto braking systems, rather than waiting for the federal government to mandate the technology, as had been widely anticipated. At an event in Ruckersville, Virginia today, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration chief Mark Rosekind said the agreement puts the rollout of the technology on the “fast track,” calling it “life-saving technology that everyone should have.”

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NHTSA Says Traffic Fatalities on the Rise in 2015

More miles logged offsetting improved safety equipment.

by on Sep.01, 2015

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said he won't let up on automakers in a push for safety.

New vehicles in the U.S. are the safest vehicles ever built, but the country’s highways are seeing the highest fatality rates in nearly a decade and that has safety officials scrambling to figure out what to do about it.

Despite more cars and trucks than ever being equipped with collision prevention equipment and vehicles designed to crash in ways to better protect vehicle occupants, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced U.S. traffic deaths jumped 9.5% to an estimated 7,500 during the first quarter of 2015.

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Part of the increase is being blamed on the fact that due to an improved economy spurred by low gas prices, Americans are driving more. Miles logged are up 3.9% during the same period, but that doesn’t account for everything, according to safety experts. (more…)

Automakers Rapidly Expand Availability of Forward Crash Prevention Systems

Technology boosts safety ratings, says Insurance Institute.

by on Aug.26, 2015

Ford workers prepare a mannequin for testing the maker's new pedestrian alert system.

Once available only on a handful of the most expensive luxury models, a growing number of vehicles, including mainstream and even economy models, now offer forward crash warning systems. That means better protection for passengers and improved safety ratings for manufacturers.

For the first time ever, more than half of all new cars, trucks and crossovers offer standard or optional forward crash warning systems, according to a new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And a quarter of all new vehicles take things a step further with warning systems that can automatically apply the brakes, if necessary.

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There’s growing evidence the technology is helping reduce highway crashes, injuries, and possibly fatalities.

As part of its ongoing series of tests, the IIHS is awarding 19 new models its superior or advanced ratings due to the addition of forward crash warning technology.

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Forget Those 5-Star Ratings; Bigger is Safer

Study finds heavier, more expensive vehicles are the safest on the road.

by on Jul.13, 2015

Despite smaller vehicles having five-star crash ratings, a new study suggests that bigger vehicles are still the safest in a collision

While conventional wisdom has a way of being wrong, a new study by the University of Buffalo suggests that, when it comes to cars, one traditional belief is correct: bigger cars tend to be safer cars.

While even some of the smallest cars on the market today earn five-star crash ratings, it doesn’t necessarily reflect what happens in the real world – especially when that little car smashes into a big one or, worse, an 18-wheeler. The bottom line, according to a study presented during the annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, is that bigger, more expensive vehicles tend to be the safest.

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“The most important point of our study is that vehicle weight and price have a positive relationship with vehicle safety,” said Dr. Dietrich Jehle, a professor of emergency medicine at University of Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who presented the research. (more…)

New Ford Focus Anticipates Spin-Outs

Compact model predicts problems before they occur.

by on Feb.09, 2015

Ford adopts a new version of electronic stability control when it launches the 2016 Focus.

Anyone who has had to face driving on snowy roads this winter knows what can happen when you hit a patch of black ice, especially when you’re going into a corner or trying to stop.

Ford Motor Co. claims to be launching a new version of electronic stability control that not only intervenes once a car begins to spin, but which “can predict a spin before it even begins.“

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“By recognizing scenarios that can lead to a potential loss of driver control before oversteer has developed, the enhanced transitional stability system is setting the recovery process in motion quicker than ever before – resulting in smoother, more refined control,” says David Messih, Brake Controls manager, Ford North America.

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New Vehicle Designs Make Zero Highway Deaths a Real Possibility

Nine models reach that goal, finds new study.

by on Jan.29, 2015

The 2011 Honda Odyssey was one of nine models to experience no fatalities during the study period.

(This story has been updated to include the list of the nine safest vehicles, and additional comments by IIHS.)

The highway death toll has been plunging rapidly in recent years, and safety experts are crediting a number of factors, including improved roadways and a crackdown on drunk driving. But a new study puts the spotlight on vehicle design and improved technology for both preventing crashes and keeping motorists alive when they do occur.

A record total of nine models sold during the 2011 model-year have had a death rate of zero, meaning no one was killed in a crash involving those vehicles during the period studied by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Significantly, these are not ultra-exotic products. They include mainstream models like the Honda Odyssey minivan and Subaru Legacy sedan, as well as the big Mercedes-Benz GL SUV. (See the complete list, below.)

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“We know from our vehicle ratings program that crash test performance has been getting steadily better. These latest death rates provide new confirmation that real-world outcomes are improving, too,” said IIHS vice president and chief research officer David Zuby.

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Teenagers Driving Old Cars: A Deadly Combination

Older vehicles feature fewer safety technologies and lower crashworthiness.

by on Dec.31, 2014

The 2005 Saab 9-3 is one of the safest and least expensive vehicles for teen drivers, according to IIHS.

The fact that teen drivers die at significantly higher rates than other age groups isn’t a surprise to most; however, one of the reasons may be a bit of a revelation: old cars.

It’s often assumed that teenage fatalities involving vehicles – the top reason for teenage fatalities, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is car crashes – can be attributable to a dangerous combination of poor driving habits and a lack of experience behind the wheel.

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However, teenagers also typically drive older vehicles that often lack the safety technologies that could offset some of their inexperience. It’s when that decade-old car or truck gets added to the mix that dangerous can become deadly. (more…)

List of “Safest” Cars Nearly Doubles for 2015

Automakers make big gains despite recall woes, according to IIHS.

by on Dec.23, 2014

The number of vehicles earning one of the top two ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has nearly doubled for 2015.

The number of vehicles earning one of the top two ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has nearly doubled for 2015 despite the industry’s ongoing recall problems.

A total of 71 vehicles have earned either a Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ award, the insurance industry research arm announced Tuesday, up from just 39 models during 2014. And that’s despite making it tougher to earn the top rating.

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“This is the third year in a row that we are giving automakers a tougher challenge to meet,” said IIHS President Adrian Lund, who stressed that the industry is “greatly improving” its crash protection. (more…)