Friday, February 3, 2023
News IIHS Shows New Side-Impact Test Today

IIHS Shows New Side-Impact Test Today

Institution says the new test will better reflect modern side collisions


  • Current IIHS side-impact test dates back to 2003
  • Almost every vehicle gets good marks with current side-impact test
  • One change will be to increase the movable barrier speed

The IIHS believes its side-impact test no longer reflects the current automotive environment and doesn’t give consumers the info they need to determine the safest vehicles.

Introduced in 2003 at a time when there were a lot less SUVs on the road and cars were lighter, the side-impact test had just a 20 percent pass rate at the time. Today, improvements in side airbags and structural rigidity mean that 99 percent of vehicles pass the side-impact test.

The IIHS will therefore introduce a new generation of the safety test which will increase the speed of the movable barrier used to hit the tested vehicle. The speed will increase from 31 mph to 37 mph which translates into an extra 1,200 pounds of impact force and 42 percent more energy.

They will also increase the weight of the movable barrier from 3,300 pounds to 4,200 pounds to reflect heavier modern cars.

Four tests using four good-rated vehicles (Honda Accord, Volkswagen Atlas, Toyota Camry, and Infiniti QX50) will be conducted and the results will be analyzed to determine the best way to conduct the next side-impact test.

Source: IIHS

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Charles Jolicoeur
Charles Jolicoeur was studying to be a CPA when he decided to drop everything and launch a car website in 2012. Don't ask. The journey has been an interesting one, but today he has co-founded and manages 8 websites including EcoloAuto.com and MotorIllustrated.com as General Manager of NetMedia360. He also sits on the board of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada. Send me an email

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