New Crash Test Bring Challenges to Manufacturers

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says partial crashes better simulate real-world collisions.
3:00 | 08/14/12

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Transcript for New Crash Test Bring Challenges to Manufacturers
Turning to a new crash test for cars. Look at this. They're not head-on collisions but partial crashes. Something that better simulates a real-world accident with a real car. And abc's jim avila has all the details. Reporter: It's the kind of serious accident that happens when a car hits a pole. Or a tree. Or another vehicle not quite head-on. The insurance institute calls it a small overlap frontal crash and is responsible for one-quarter of all fatal front-end collisions. As the new crash tests show, most cars, domestic and foreign, are unprepared to keep drivers safe during one. It represents a problem that is not being addressed. Reporter: This is the first round of crash tests exposing this danger. No government agency does them yet. When shown side-by-side with head-on crashes, where the force is spread across the entire safety cage, you can seizely see how much more dangerous this type of crash can be. Cars are designed today, as the insurance institute video shows to absorb impact on the center of the vehicle, not on the corners. The main thing that needs to happen to provide better protection, is a stronger safety cage. Reporter: Only 3 of the 11 luxury cars put through the test, passed with good or acceptable ratings. The volvo s-60 and the acura tl did the best. The infinity results were acceptable. The worst? The lexus 350, with ten-times the damage of the volvo. Car manufacturers have done a good job with air bags and safety cages and cutting the number of deaths from head-on collisions. But 10,000 drivers and passengers die from the partial-impact accidents. The insurance institute hopes the new data will bring those numbers down. Now, to the border battle

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