'Corner Crashes': Common, Deadly Car Accidents

Crash tests show many cars need more protection against impact at an angle.
3:00 | 08/14/12

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Transcript for 'Corner Crashes': Common, Deadly Car Accidents
of cars on the road right now are failing a brand-new kind of crash test. The common accident, often deadly. Abc's senior national correspondent jim avila tells us which cars and why. Reporter: The corner crash. When your car hits a power pole, another vehicle at the front fender today is responsible for 25% of america's 10,000 fatal head-on crashes each year. It just involves the front corner of the vehicle. It misses the strong energy absorbing structure that's in the middle. Reporter: Today the insurance institute releasing stunning, first of its kind crash tests, dramatically showing that most cars need more protection at the corners. Of the 11 cars tested, all of them luxury vehicles with state of the art safety equipment, only three passed. The rest, suffered horrendous damage, that sent the test dummies crushed and banged into hard surfaces. That side of the vehicle that's struck is pushed in toward the occupant and your restraints tend to move out of the way. Reporter: The most badly damaged, lexus i.S. Even bmw, lincoln and mercedes failed. The infiniti g graded acceptable, the acura tl and VOLVO a60 EARNED TOP RATINGS. Volvo beefed up the top of the rail where this attaches. Reporter: Volvo not only added stronger supports at the corner, its safety cage grows gradually more rigid as it gets closer to the passenger compartment. Its firewall barrier reinforced with ultra high strength steel. One automaker today claimed the test replicates an "unusually sever and uncommon crash," but the insurance institute says in the end, this visual evidence will inspire action, because in lexus said it will respond to the challenge. Safety sells. Jim avila, abc news, washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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