One of the tasks of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is to rate car safety equipment so that consumers in Pittsburgh and elsewhere around the country can decide for themselves what the best balance between cost and safety is for their requirements. Recently, the IIHS became the first group in this country to rate cars on the efficacy of their frontal crash prevention systems.

Depending on the make and model, this technology can include systems such as automatic braking and forward collision warning. The IIHS modeled its testing on what a European group had done on vehicles there.

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In the IIHS rankings, less than 10 percent of the vehicles tested got the institute’s best rating, superior. Even fewer got the next-best ranking, advanced. About one-third of the vehicles got the basic rating, meaning they had a forward collision warning system but no automatic braking. The rest of the cars in the test — nearly half of all of those included — didn’t meet the minimum criteria for a ranking.

Source: The New York Times, “Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Tests Crash Avoidance Systems,” Cheryl Jensen, Sept. 27, 2013

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