On behalf of Weisman, Kennedy & Berris Co., L.P.A. posted in Car Accidents on Wednesday, January 15, 2014.

When the president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Adrian Lund, says that there are “a fair number of vehicles to choose from,” he’s talking motor vehicle safety and impliedly telling consumers to be proactive and careful when they pick their next car.

Researchers at Lund’s organization, commonly known by the acronym IIHS, purposefully crash test vehicles, carefully track the results and report their conclusions publicly. Given that the agency is widely known and the results considered authoritative, motor vehicle manufacturers pay attention.

What they’re hearing generally these days is that, as a group, they’re not doing too well, at least not when evaluated by an IIHS measuring yardstick that is reportedly more stringent than in years past.

In other words, and as a gauge for measuring likely outcomes in a car accident, it is no longer good enough to have a handful-plus of air bags scattered around a vehicle, coupled with an adequate anti-lock braking system.

That’s nice, but the IIHS is now demanding more, acknowledging consumers “who want both crash prevention technology and the latest in occupant protection.”

In Ohio and elsewhere, that means a desire for both post-crash features that will maximally protect vehicle occupants and imbedded technology that will help drivers avoid crashes in the first place. That includes things like automatic braking when a driver isn’t reacting quickly enough to an impending crash with an oncoming vehicle, as well as notification systems that warn motorists that trouble is approaching quickly.

Detailed information concerning the top IIHS safety picks for 2014 vehicle models can be obtained on the agency’s website (www.iihs.org).

Source: Forbes, “New crash test ratings raise question: What really makes a car safe?” Joann Muller, Dec. 19, 2013