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IIHS issues recommendations on used vehicles for teens after research finds many aren’t driving the safest ones

July 17, 2014 Comments off

IIHS issues recommendations on used vehicles for teens after research finds many aren’t driving the safest ones
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Many teenagers are driving vehicles that don’t offer good crash protection and lack important safety technology, new research by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows. To help guide parents toward safer choices, IIHS has compiled its first-ever list of recommended used vehicles for teens.

IIHS is known for its ratings of new vehicles, but for many families, a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ isn’t in the budget. In a national phone survey conducted for IIHS of parents of teen drivers, 83 percent of those who bought a vehicle for their teenagers said they bought it used.

With that reality in mind, the Institute has compiled a list of affordable used vehicles that meet important safety criteria for teen drivers (see below). There are two tiers of recommended vehicles with options at various price points, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so parents can buy the most safety for their money, whatever their budget.

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Fit for the road: Older drivers’ crash rates continue to drop

February 21, 2014 Comments off

Fit for the road: Older drivers’ crash rates continue to drop
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Today’s older drivers are not only less likely to be involved in crashes than prior generations, they are less likely to be killed or seriously injured if they do crash, a new Institute study shows. That’s likely because vehicles are safer and seniors are generally healthier. It’s a marked shift that began to take hold in the mid-1990s and indicates that the growing ranks of aging drivers aren’t making U.S. roads deadlier.

Thirty-nine vehicles meet tougher criteria to earn 2014 safety awards from IIHS

December 20, 2013 Comments off

Thirty-nine vehicles meet tougher criteria to earn 2014 safety awards from IIHS
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Twenty-two vehicles earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s highest safety award for 2014, TOP SAFETY PICK+, thanks to a high level of protection in crashes and the availability of front crash prevention technology to avoid many collisions in the first place. An additional 17 earn TOP SAFETY PICK by meeting the crashworthiness criteria alone.

IIHS is using new criteria for the awards this year. TOP SAFETY PICK requires good performance in the Institute’s moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests and, for the first time, good or acceptable performance in the small overlap front test introduced in 2012. The same level of performance in those tests, along with at least a basic rating for front crash prevention, is required for the higher accolade, TOP SAFETY PICK+.

Drop in teen driving tracks with teen unemployment, HLDI study finds

October 25, 2013 Comments off

Drop in teen driving tracks with teen unemployment, HLDI study finds
Source: Highway Data Loss Institute (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

A recent drop in teen driving likely comes down to simple economics. Young people today may want to drive just as much as they did a generation ago but simply can’t afford it, a new report from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) suggests.

While some observers have speculated that the rise of cellphones and social media has made driving less of an imperative in teens’ eyes, the study shows that the decline in teen driving coincided with the economic slowdown, and the shortage of work has disproportionately affected teenage job seekers.

Boosters improve: Most new seats provide good belt fit; Two Safety 1st models are not recommended as boosters

October 25, 2012 Comments off

Boosters improve: Most new seats provide good belt fit; Two Safety 1st models are not recommended as boosters

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Fifteen of 17 booster seats introduced in 2012 earn the top rating of BEST BET from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, evidence that more than ever, manufacturers are designing seats to provide good safety belt fit for booster-age children.

The improvements mean that BEST BET boosters now outnumber seats in any of the three other categories for the first time since the Institute released its inaugural booster ratings in 2008. Boosters are supposed to improve how adult lap and shoulder belts fit children so the belts can properly restrain them in crashes. BEST BET boosters correctly position belts on a typical 4-to-8-year-old child in almost any car, minivan or SUV.


In all, there are 47 BEST BET boosters for 2012. The new rankings include the latest models, plus older top-rated designs still on the market. Five seats are a GOOD BET, meaning they provide acceptable belt fit in most vehicles. The 37 boosters in the Check Fit category may provide good fit for some children in some vehicles, but not as many as a BEST BET or GOOD BET. As with any booster, parents should make sure the lap belt lies flat across their child’s upper thighs and the shoulder belt crosses snugly over the middle of the shoulder. If not, try a different seat.

High-tech system on Volvos is preventing crashes

July 25, 2011 Comments off

High-tech system on Volvos is preventing crashes
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Vehicles are doing a better job of protecting people in crashes, but a new crop of advanced technology aims to prevent many crashes from happening altogether. A new study by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) finds that one kind of advanced forward collision avoidance system is working to prevent about a quarter of the common low-speed crashes that happen in everyday commuter traffic.

The study of insurance claims found that Volvo XC60 midsize SUVs outfitted with a standard collision avoidance feature called City Safety are far less likely to be involved in low-speed crashes than comparable vehicles without the system. City Safety is designed to help a driver avoid rear-ending another vehicle in slow-moving, heavy traffic. Claims under property damage liability coverage — the insurance that pays for damage to vehicles that an at-fault driver hits — were filed 27 percent less often for the XC60 than other midsize luxury SUVs.

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