Since 2003, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS, has conducted a series of vehicle safety tests. While the program has been hailed as a success by many, some say that it may be time to introduce more rigorous testing. Adjustments to current tests have already been introduced and should be implemented by 2021. For example, impact speeds have been increased from 31 miles per hour to 37 miles per hour.
This is important because increasing crash speeds by 6 miles per hour increases the force caused in a collision by 42%. A heavier crash barrier is also going to be introduced, and it is meant to replicate the heavier vehicles on the road today. In 2003, a typical SUV weighed about 3,300. However, a typical SUV in 2019 weighed about 4,200 pounds.
When the IIHS program began, only 20% of vehicles received a good rating on the side crash test. Today, roughly 99% of vehicles get a good grade on the side crash test, and this is because most automakers have added features such as side airbags to help keep occupants safe. However, fatalities from side impacts still accounted for 23% of all traffic deaths in 2018. By upgrading the types of tests that are conducted, automakers have an opportunity to design vehicles that can prevent even more injuries or fatalities from occurring.
Those who are hurt in motor vehicle accidents caused by another person’s negligence could be entitled to compensation for his or her injuries. Compensation may help to pay for medical bills, lost wages or lost future earnings. It might also help repair or replace a vehicle or other property damaged in a crash. An attorney may be able to help an individual obtain a favorable outcome in a trial or through a settlement.