Posts Tagged ‘IIHS’
November 16th, 2012
A new comprehensive study of real-world car collision data conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute suggest that hybrid cars are not only more efficient, but better at preventing injuries as well. Looking at thousands of actual insurance claims, the HLDI concluded that cars like the Ford Fusion and Escape Hybrids and Toyota Prius scored significantly better than average for their segments in the frequency of “personal injuries per accident.”
A couple of factors could be at work here. Hybrid drivers may be more likely to drive slower and more conservatively, helping prevent the very severe accidents that lead to injury. But this alone cannot account for the difference when compared with other “conservative” cars. The other, and likely more important, factor is the extra weight that comes with electric motors, massive battery packs and the like. The 2009-2011 Fusion Hybrid, which was the study’s highest-rated midsize in preventing injury, is also one of the segment’s heaviest cars.
Data from cars with the worst injury protection supports this: led by the Toyota Yaris with double the average personal injury claim frequency, nearly all the worst-performing cars are tiny and light-weight. Large SUVs, minivans and crossovers tended to score the best, and the heavier the better.
But the one car with the lowest frequency of injuries per accident? The Porsche 911. Go figure.
October 15th, 2012
The sleek and feature-filled new 2013 Dodge Dart, the best small car to come from Chrysler in a generation, can now claim an IIHS Top Safety Pick recommendation among its list of virtues. The Dart earned the praise of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety by scoring the top mark of “Good” in Moderate Overlap Front, Side Impact, Roof Strength and Rear Crash Protection collision testing.
The 2013 Dart was not subjected to the IIHS’s new Small Overlap Front crash test, which is not yet an official part of procedures but has proved troublesome for the first models tested, including expensive luxury cars with advanced safety features.
The Dart, available now starting at $15,995 plus destination, is comprised of a stiff structure made of hot-stamped steel that protected crash dummies from any significant injuries in all tests. The Dart also comes with 10 standard airbags, with active safety features like Dodge’s Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Path Detection available as options.
September 12th, 2012
Everything is bigger in Texas. That includes the speed limit. The Texas Department of Transportation lawmakers have approved a new 85 mph speed limit along a 41-mile stretch of State Highway 130, giving the new toll road the highest posted speed limit in the United States. The stretch of road connects the greater Austin and San Antonio areas, and will cost drivers around $5 to enjoy some high-speed motoring while avoiding the traffic snarl that is nearby Interstate 35.
This breaks the current record of 80 mph, found on highways in sections of Texas and Utah. In the 1990s, Montana flirted with Interstate highways with no posted speed limit, but “speed tourism” and Constitutional questions about law enforcement’s right to ticket drivers for “imprudent” speeds eventually led to the restoration of speed limits.
The Texas high-speed stretch of road has brought some safety concerns from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety among others, who say it will lead to more traffic fatalities and aggressive driving. Texas DOT officials contend that the 85-mph limit is safe, with 12-foot-wide lanes, moderate banking and good visibility.
The new 85-mph Texas State Highway 130 toll road will open November 11, 2012.
January 30th, 2012
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests dozens of models each year to see which protect you best in the event of a crash. While smaller cars are generally at a disadvantage in the event of a crash, high-tech safety equipment makes the tradeoff a small one.
Here’s 5 models rated Top Safety Pick by the IIHS, meaning they received the top “Good” rating in all crash tests and come standard with electronic stability control. Each link points to something from the automaker about unique safety features.
November 28th, 2011
If you drive a hybrid, you are 25% less-likely to be injured in the event of a collision, a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (an IIHS affiliate) shows. The Institute compared injury claim statistics from hybrid and standard versions of the same vehicle, like the Toyota Highlander and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Per accident, hybrid drivers and passengers were 25% less likely to become injured.
The primary factor is weight. It’s not uncommon for a hybrid to weigh 500 lbs. more than its gas-only counterpart, with added heft helping protect occupants. The lighter the car, the greater disadvantage in the event of a crash, physics show.
Other factors? Hybrid drivers are probably less likely to drive recklessly and therefore become involved in severe collisions. Also, hybrids traditionally come with a very high level of standard safety equipment missing or optional on cheaper gas-powered models.
On a down note, a separate HLDI study found that hybrids were 20% more likely to be involved in injury-causing pedestrian collisions than comparable non-hybrid counterparts.