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Old 05-01-2014, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 28,225,957 times
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Edit - well the next post below describes the difference in the test - thanks for that link! A new question now though is the IIHS test is supposed to be like an SUV and the NHTSA test is like a passenger car... but it scored better in the IIHS test than the NHTSA test. I am guessing that the lower car caused more injury to the crash dummys lower body. ?? It also appears that the NHTSA test does not include head injury measures (I am guessing on the older cars). It looks like on their website NHTSA now includes head injury ratings, that may have added when they made the test ratings more strict starting in 2011. With all of that said, it seems like the better test to go by is the IIHS test.

Here is the description from Wikipedia on the test difference...

Side crash test:

Compared to the NHTSA test rig, which simulates the impact from the front end of a passenger car, the taller IIHS test rig simulates the impact of an sport utility vehicle or Pickup truck (approximately a quarter of all new cars sold) into the side of the vehicle being tested. This is a very demanding test of both the vehicle's structural integrity and its side airbag systems, if any. (Seat belts play a less important role in side crashes on the impacted side of the vehicle.) While most new vehicles achieve 4–5 stars from the NHTSA (where head injuries are not part of the rating), many do not score well in the IIHS side impact test.

The IIHS assigns one of the same "Good", "Acceptable", "Marginal", or "Poor" ratings to nine categories before deciding the vehicle's overall side impact score.

IIHS began conducting vehicles tests in 2003. IIHS findings show a driver in a vehicle with a "Good" score is 70% less likely to die in a left-side crash than a driver in a vehicle rated "Poor". A 64% reduction was found for drivers in "Acceptable" rated vehicles and a 49% reduction in vehicles rated "Marginal".



_________________________________________

As far as frontal crashes, we all know that the IIHS generally has more severe crash tests with the moderate overlap and small overlap crash tests. NHTSA has a full frontal crash.

Now on the side crashes, I am not sure what the difference is, or how they tend to rate them, but it seems like on this test, the government has a stricter rating or uses a more severe test.

For example, a new 2014 Ford Fusion good (which is the highest rating) for the front driver in a side crash test, earning a good rating in all injury measures in the IIHS crash and earned an overall good rating. However, in the NHTSA crash, the driver only earned an overall rating of 3 stars (out of 5) meaning an overall rating of only average.

I thought I knew a lot about different crash tests and ratings, but this is one that always had me puzzled and it does not seem like the NHTSA test gives any details on the crash in each area (such as head or side injuries).

Here is the IIHS Fusion rating - it gets a good side crash rating - earning green in all injury measures...

Vehicle details

In comparison, here is the NHTSA rating, showing only 3 stars for the driver... (but an overall rating of 4 stars since the rear passenger earned a 5-star rating)

2014 Ford Fusion 4 DR FWD | Safercar -- NHTSA

Last edited by Tennesseestorm; 05-01-2014 at 10:46 PM..
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Out in the Badlands
10,420 posts, read 10,827,692 times
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Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Clear as mud.
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 28,225,957 times
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Thanks and that is an interesting link, but that raises a new question... it seems like the IIHS side test is supposed to be more severe than the NHTSA test - because the IIHS test is supposed to be like a higher SUV and the NHTSA test is supposed to be like a passenger car. In this case, the car scored excellent in the IIHS test, but only average in the NHTSA test. All I can think of is that the lower car caused more driver injury on the lower part of the dummy.
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Old 05-02-2014, 06:40 AM
 
2,600 posts, read 8,791,531 times
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Side crash test
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Old 05-02-2014, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
7,305 posts, read 28,225,957 times
Reputation: 5523
Yep, good reading. Thanks for that.

Still interesting that the '14 Fusion only got an average in the NHTSA which is supposed to be an easier test to pass, while it got a good rating in the IIHS side crash, which is supposed to be more severe.
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