Frontal Impact Crash Test Change Shifts Damage Areas in Vehicle Extrication

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has changed testing in regards to frontal impact.  The IIHS has now reduced the strike area on a frontal impact test from 40% to 25% overlap (this simulates striking a pole or tree). The crash force now bypasses the frontal crumple zone leading to greater damage to the passenger cell. It can also move the steering wheel towards the center of the vehicle, which reduces, if not totally removes, the effectiveness of the driver’s airbag.

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Because of this new testing we are already starting to see changes in vehicle design and metals used in the frame, door and foot area of many models. One of the more significant things we are seeing is an increase in the metal strength around the bottom hinge into the rocker panel. [Read more…]