You may or may not be familiar with IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and what they do. The IIHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries, and property damage — from crashes on the nation’s highways. It offers safety ratings on practically every passenger vehicle in the U.S., and ratings in some cases can go back 12 years or more.
Every year they test the newest model year cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs coming out and every year cars are selected as “Top Safety Picks.” If you are a manufacturer and you receive and top safety pick award it is a very huge deal. It shows that you are doing everything you can to keep your consumers safe and your vehicles at the best they can be.
Below is a video and description of what the IIHS does and what they stand for. I believe that once you watch this you will find a new respect for the IIHS. Please enjoy!
Crashing cars to test them for safety is the main work conducted at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Vehicle Research Center (VRC). The violence of the crash tests give them an undeniable “wow” factor, but the more serious side of this work is its contribution to the Institute’s mission of preventing harm from crashes by improving driver behavior and roadway design as well as vehicle crashworthiness. It’s important to improve all three, so the Institute’s research program is balanced. Yet the crash tests are the high-profile work. They grab attention worldwide.
Most VRC testing is conducted for consumer information. Vehicles are rated for safety based on performance in front, side, and rear tests. Consumers compare the results, which often differ dramatically, even among vehicles that are similar in size and price.
Auto manufacturers heed the ratings, too, and improve the designs of their vehicles to earn higher marks than the competition. Then the automakers improve on the improvements. The result is that motorists now travel in safer vehicles than they used to.
Lives are being saved because of this work, which is wholly sponsored by the nation’s auto insurers. Injuries are being prevented. This is why the VRC exists. – IIHS.org