The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. Its purpose is to ascertain what works and doesn’t work to prevent motor vehicle crashes and to reduce injuries in the crashes that occur. The Institute’s Web site (www.iihs.org) is a resource for practitioners who need information on vehicle safety. IIHS research focuses on countermeasures aimed at all three factors in motor vehicle crashes (human, vehicular, and environmental) and on interventions that can occur before, during, and after crashes to reduce losses.

The Vehicle Research Center (VRC), which is the focus of all of the Institute’s vehicle-related research, opened in 1992. VRC activities include vehicle and component testing, including fully instrumented crash tests, plus in-depth study of serious, on-the-road crashes. Scrutinizing the outcomes of both controlled tests and real collisions gives researchers – and ultimately the public – a better idea of how and why occupants get injured in crashes. This research leads to vehicle designs that reduce injuries. The Institute’s affiliate organization, the Highway Loss Data Institute, gathers, processes, and publishes data on the ways in which insurance losses vary among different kinds of vehicles.

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