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Cooley On Cars
Your Emails: Inside the lives of crash-test dummiesBrian Cooley explains the the nuances of crash-test ratings conducted by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
[MUSIC] Okay, let's get to your emails for this week. First one comes in from Hayden E. He's in Atlanta Georgia says, I have a question about IIHSA small overlap crash test, one of their newer tests. When they do crash ratings. Some cars, he notes, like the Lexus RC seem to absorb impact energy around the A pillar and surrounding structures and the vehicle stops. Other cars, he says, like the Lexus CT200h. Instead of stopping, appeared to have vehicle structure crushed more allowing the car to keep sliding forward. This is what you see in the crash test video. He say's I don't understand how vehicles in the second category get the same rating as vehicles in the first. On here's going on crash test ratings are Are interesting. I mean, this is the up and down side of releasing these videos, which the IIHS does and gets tons of media attention, because they're amazing to watch, as well as learn the score. But the thing is, to the layperson, who's not an engineer, that includes me, you think you can tell a lot by telling how that thing deforms when it hits a barrier. But to be honest, that's mostly interesting visuals. And the science is not on the outside of the car as much as it is on the inside with the dummy. The dummy is an amazing high-tech instrument package. And all that really matters is what happens to the dummy, regardless of how much deformation goes on on the outside of the car. You see, when a car is gonna deform, it's gonna deform in its own way. Models will vary. Some of them will have a whole lot of deforming on the outside. Others seem to have like a solid chamber in the middle that doesn't budge. Again, viewing from the outside is hard. It's better to go with the idea that cars will all deform differently, models Put the model and car in a car in the real world. But all that matter is you want the crash energy dissipated somewhere in the car and not somewhere on me. If either of us was gonna go to the junk yard after the collision I want to [UNKNOWN] the car not myself. Now in terms of the folks behind this rating the IIHS of course best known for the five door crash rating and stuff. Break [UNKNOWN] from the organization Just because you've got to look at their point of view. They are funded and founded by the insurance industry. They have one mission in life, it's to shame car makers into making safer cars, so their client, the insurance companies, have to pay out fewer claims from injury. So they've got no skin in the game other than to make sure cars are as safe as possible and surface the ones that aren't.