The small overlap tests involve just 25% of the vehicle width and are designed to simulate what happens when a car collides with another car or objects like trees or utility poles. The test is more difficult than others since there isn’t a direct impact with the frame rail of the vehicle, so the energy of the impact must mostly be absorbed by the occupant compartment and other structures. It takes place at 40 mph and sends the car into a rigid barrier, with ratings determined by factors like occupant compartment intrusion and the dummy’s movement during the crash.
“The numbers confirm that strong performance in the Institute’s small overlap front crash test translates into big reductions in fatality risk,” said Eric Tech, director of statistical services at IIHS and one of the study’s authors.
Interestingly, the older moderate overlap test that involves 40% of the vehicle width returned mostly Good results from vehicles at the time of the small overlap test’s introduction. We had a look at some IIHS crash results and found that the small overlap driver-side test is indeed tougher on many vehicles.
- IIHS Finds Definitive Link Between High Crash Scores And Lower Fatality Risk
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