Located off of a country road just outside of Charlottesville, Virginia, is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to reducing losses from crashes on the nation’s roadways known as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The IIHS conducts scientific studies on everything from headlights and auto crash safety to the impact of alcohol and drugs on drivers. The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) complements this mission by collecting information from the insurance market and analyzing the data to determine loss patterns by vehicle make and model.

Behind-the-scenes look at IIHS safety research

The members of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) had the opportunity to drive some of the cars being analyzed at the facility, learn about the testing conducted by IIHS, and observe a crash test as part of a tour for the organization’s Future of Auto Summit in July.

IIHS was founded in 1959 and began testing the crashworthiness of vehicles in 1995. Upon entering the testing center, several vehicles in the lobby show the very real results of the their crash tests. IIHS buys each of the cars tested because they want to ensure they are using the exact same vehicles available to the public.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to PropertyCasualty360.com, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]