Relevance of IIHS crashworthiness ratings

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new6ton

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Do you believe in all of these automobile crushworthiness ratings and does it affect your decision?

I have an old car that doesn't score good in the crushworthiness tests. I wonder whether I should upgrade to a new model. Did you upgrade yours based on the ratings?
 

berkeman

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Yes, I would upgrade. How old is your car? Adding side airbags is a big improvement, IMO. When we bought my daughter a car about 5-6 years ago, the IIHS rating was near the top of the list for deciding which model to get.

And here is a picture of a head-on crash from last Sunday night where my 12 year old granddaughter was riding in the car, coming back from a weekened with her friends. Everybody in their car survived with only moderate injuries (the person who caused the crash in the other vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt, and was ejected and killed). Do you think the safety rating of this car was important?

1569333848012.png
 

marcusl

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OMG! Thank goodness those kids were ok. That’s as graphic a demonstration as you can get.

I also put crash ratings at the top of the list when choosing a car. There are now tests for side impact and offset frontal crashes that didn’t exist for old cars and that have spurred the auto industry to make a lot of safety improvements. I also would vote for an upgrade.
 

new6ton

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Yes, I would upgrade. How old is your car? Adding side airbags is a big improvement, IMO. When we bought my daughter a car about 5-6 years ago, the IIHS rating was near the top of the list for deciding which model to get.

And here is a picture of a head-on crash from last Sunday night where my 12 year old granddaughter was riding in the car, coming back from a weekened with her friends. Everybody in their car survived with only moderate injuries (the person who caused the crash in the other vehicle was not wearing a seatbelt, and was ejected and killed). Do you think the safety rating of this car was important?
My car is 15 years old. Only two front airbags for entire car. Driver wheel and passenger front only. No side air bags or knees air bags. It has very poor small overlap front driver side crush scores. But I love to use old car because it's safer from car jackers or car nappers. They mostly rob expensive new cars which I'm nervous using. Also by driving carefully. One can avoid that kind of accident, is it not? Hope your 12 year old granddaughter ok.
 

berkeman

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Also by driving carefully. One can avoid that kind of accident, is it not?
You can certainly lower the chance of a crash by driving carefully and defensively, but accidents still happen. In this crash on Sunday night, a driver was getting ready to make an illegal left turn across the path of the family's car, but was waiting for the cars to pass first. Unfortunately, he got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler big rig truck, which pushed him unexpectedly into oncoming traffic.
Hope your 12 year old granddaughter ok.
Thank you. She has some broken bones and a concussion, but should recover physically in a couple months. Unfortunately, her friend also saw the dead man's body, so I've recommended that both girls go through some counselling. Healing their mental side may take longer than a couple months.
 

new6ton

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You can certainly lower the chance of a crash by driving carefully and defensively, but accidents still happen. In this crash on Sunday night, a driver was getting ready to make an illegal left turn across the path of the family's car, but was waiting for the cars to pass first. Unfortunately, he got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler big rig truck, which pushed him unexpectedly into oncoming traffic.

Thank you. She has some broken bones and a concussion, but should recover physically in a couple months. Unfortunately, her friend also saw the dead man's body, so I've recommended that both girls go through some counselling. Healing their mental side may take longer than a couple months.
If the 18-wheeler big rig truck pushed the other party car at stop. How come the person was ejected outside in the windshield when the speed was low?

Most cars are designed to survived moderate overlap frontal tests where the collision is distributed towards the entire front versus just the side (so called small overlap front tests).


How many owners here have excellent score in the small overlap frontal tests?

My parents car have 7 airbags.

srs.jpg


My car only has 2 airbags in the front.

I'd like to know how many percentage of owners here have actually the curtain and side airbags too? Let's make a survey.
 

marcusl

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A survey is irrelevant if you simply don’t want to buy a new car. And it’s not our place to try to convince you.
 

berkeman

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If the 18-wheeler big rig truck pushed the other party car at stop. How come the person was ejected outside in the windshield when the speed was low?
I don't have the full story yet, but the car my granddaughter was traveling in was going at freeway speed when the impact happened...

A survey is irrelevant if you simply don’t want to buy a new car. And it’s not our place to try to convince you.
And you don't need to buy a flashy new car if you want to upgrade your safety systems to 7 airbags, etc. The car that we bought for our daughter (like I said, maybe 5-6-7 years ago?) was a Honda CRV. At the time, it was one of the few cars/models with side airbags, and IIRC, it had a very good IIHS safety rating. Maybe look at used cars with full airbag protection and good safety ratings, and low "flash factor". I'm pretty sure you can find a good used car with much better protection than what you are driving now.

BTW, my daughter really wanted an old pickup truck instead (old Ford F150 with lap belts only), but at least she was reasonable enough to agree to a more modern version with way better safety systems and design. :smile:
 

berkeman

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BTW, I don't think I've mentioned it in this thread yet, but many of the PF regulars know that I work part-time in EMS in addition to my full-time EE R&D job. I've been on-scene at numerous motor vehicle accidents where I am just amazed that the folks involved have been able to basically walk away with only minor injuries with crashes as severe as the picture I posted.

Modern car safety systems and crush zone design have saved countless lives. Most (not all) of the serious injuries I've seen have been due to older vehicles without those systems (or people who bypass the safety systems by not wearing their seatbelts like the guy who died on Sunday). For sure any vehicle that I purchase will have every safety feature that I can get (well, except for the self-driving thing...).
 

new6ton

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I don't have the full story yet, but the car my granddaughter was traveling in was going at freeway speed when the impact happened...


And you don't need to buy a flashy new car if you want to upgrade your safety systems to 7 airbags, etc. The car that we bought for our daughter (like I said, maybe 5-6-7 years ago?) was a Honda CRV. At the time, it was one of the few cars/models with side airbags, and IIRC, it had a very good IIHS safety rating. Maybe look at used cars with full airbag protection and good safety ratings, and low "flash factor". I'm pretty sure you can find a good used car with much better protection than what you are driving now.

BTW, my daughter really wanted an old pickup truck instead (old Ford F150 with lap belts only), but at least she was reasonable enough to agree to a more modern version with way better safety systems and design. :smile:
My car is Honda CRV 2004 model. Here is the IIHS rating.


At that time there was no small overlap front tests done yet. It's only done in the CRV 2012 model and onwards. It has Marginal score in the 2012 to 2015. This means the models prior has marginal scores too.

small front overlap.JPG


It's only beginning in 2016 model where it has Good score. This means both your daughter (perhaps 2013 model) and my car (2004 model) has similar performance in the small overlap front: driver-side test where lower leg/foot is marginal. Any ideas what to do about it?
 

berkeman

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What year did they add the side impact airbags? That was one feature that I was looking for explicitly. The T-bone collision is one of the worst types that I've had to deal with...
 

new6ton

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What year did they add the side impact airbags? That was one feature that I was looking for explicitly. The T-bone collision is one of the worst types that I've had to deal with...
They added it in the 2005 model. Mine has no side impact airbags. Side impact bag is really very important? Are there studies about performance of cars with it and without it in side collisions? What is meant by T-bone collision?
 

berkeman

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A T-bone collision is when one car crashes into the side of another car, especially hitting the side doors directly. Older cars have little protection against this type of collision, and that exposes the driver or passenger to a very sharp side impact. In addition to breaking the hips and ribs, it usually causes a very severe head impact on the window, which often leads to a fatal brain injury. Not good.

IMO, the higher the IIHS rating the better (and hopefully you can find an appropriate brand/model of car which won't be too much of a target), but side impact airbags are now a requirement for me in any vehicle purchases. T-bone collisions are the worst that I see now in terms of injuries, when there is no side airbag protection.
 

new6ton

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A T-bone collision is when one car crashes into the side of another car, especially hitting the side doors directly. Older cars have little protection against this type of collision, and that exposes the driver or passenger to a very sharp side impact. In addition to breaking the hips and ribs, it usually causes a very severe head impact on the window, which often leads to a fatal brain injury. Not good.

IMO, the higher the IIHS rating the better (and hopefully you can find an appropriate brand/model of car which won't be too much of a target), but side impact airbags are now a requirement for me in any vehicle purchases. T-bone collisions are the worst that I see now in terms of injuries, when there is no side airbag protection.
Actually my parents no longer use their Toyota 7-airbag car because they are 85 years old and they let me use it. But I don't use it yet because I still have the CRV. If I will give the latter to my sibling or retain it as second car in case the other is being used. Is there a way to add side airbag add on to cars without it?
 

new6ton

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A T-bone collision is when one car crashes into the side of another car, especially hitting the side doors directly. Older cars have little protection against this type of collision, and that exposes the driver or passenger to a very sharp side impact. In addition to breaking the hips and ribs, it usually causes a very severe head impact on the window, which often leads to a fatal brain injury. Not good.

IMO, the higher the IIHS rating the better (and hopefully you can find an appropriate brand/model of car which won't be too much of a target), but side impact airbags are now a requirement for me in any vehicle purchases. T-bone collisions are the worst that I see now in terms of injuries, when there is no side airbag protection.
This is the side airbag of my parent new car with 7 airbags (we live in same house so I can use it since they don't use it anymore).

driver side airbag.jpg



The small black label with texts at the side says "SRS Airbag". Do you think it can deploy with all the fabric and sews enclosing it?
 

new6ton

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Also this is the typical 7 airbags in new car (the 7th one is in the knee). Note the side air bag is small and just protect the torso and pelvis. I think the most important is the curtain airbags, right? For cars without it. Won't it be possible to add curtain airbags?

new car.png



If there is no way I can add the side curtain airbags to existing old CRV. I have no choice but to get rid of it and buy a cheaper car with curtain airbag as backup to my parent car. We need a 2nd car other family members need to use them. What is the cheapest car with reliable curtain air bags now?
 

berkeman

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I think the most important is the curtain airbags, right? For cars without it. Won't it be possible to add curtain airbags?
It looks like the "curtain" aibags are the ones that protect the occupants' heads in side collisions, so yes, that is an important feature IMO. It's not possible in general to retrofit older cars with new airbags, although you often can upgrade the seatbelt systems (for car racing, for example).


1569374319190.png
 

new6ton

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This is the side airbag of my parent new car with 7 airbags (we live in same house so I can use it since they don't use it anymore).

View attachment 250150


The small black label with texts at the side says "SRS Airbag". Do you think it can deploy with all the fabric and sews enclosing it?
To those with lower side airbags that protect the torso and pelvis. Try to see if your seat cover is like this with cover? Can it really deployed with the cover on? Or do you remove all coverings for sure deployment?

driver side airbag.jpg


For the curtain airbags of my parents car. It's located in the upper frame and no covers so no problems.

curtain airbags.jpg


I asked my friends. Most of them don't even have curtain airbags in the cars. So I am wondering how many of you in PF really have it (or don't). Don't worry. We won't force you to upgrade the car. Just wondering, that's all.
 
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berkeman

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Or do you remove all coverings for sure deployment?
No, please don't try to tamper with any of the airbag systems. That could end badly several different ways...
 

Nugatory

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This is the side airbag of my parent new car with 7 airbags....The small black label with texts at the side says "SRS Airbag". Do you think it can deploy with all the fabric and sews enclosing it?
Yes. Have you ever seen an airbag deploy? It won’t even notice that bit of fabric and stitching.
 

new6ton

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I erroneously posted the reply to Cobol but let me type this again.

I asked most of my friends. They don't have curtain airbags even when their car model is 2015 to 2019. I think I know why.

In the Fort Ecosport SUV. All models in the US have curtain airbags. But outside the US. The Fort Ecosport has variants called Ecosport Trend and Ecosport Titanium. Only the latter has curtain airbags. The former doesn't have it.


Besides the US. What countries have curtain airbag as mandatory? For those countries not mandatory. Curtain airbag is only included in top variant which not many buys because it is more expensive.

For those living outside the US (or even within the US for comparison). How many of your friends and relatives have curtain airbags? In my case. 90% or more have no curtain airbags.
 

Nugatory

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In this crash on Sunday night, a driver was getting ready to make an illegal left turn across the path of the family's car, but was waiting for the cars to pass first. Unfortunately, he got rear-ended by an 18-wheeler big rig truck, which pushed him unexpectedly into oncoming traffic.
Someone (also an EMT) once told me that you should not turn the wheel left while you’re waiting in anticipation of your turn, because a rear impact can shove you into the oncoming traffic. That sounded sensible to me at the time and this thread has just turned “sounded sensible” into “never ever going to get impatient that way again”.
 

new6ton

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This thread has convinced me to sell my CRV and use my parents 7-airbag Toyota which they never use anymore. I avoided the latter because I feel more comfortable with cheap car but realized the Toyota is getting older and getting cheaper too.

Now I am curtain airbag aware.

But our family needs extra 2nd car. So after I sell my CRV. I'll get another one with curtain airbags. I'm looking for one with the toughest cage able to for example survived being fallen by a container.

container collapse 1.JPG



Is there any existing SUV that can survive fall from a container? Or should I need military milspec vehicle? And what military vehicle can survive it (just to know how the cage is designed)?
 

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