The descriptions below explain how each of our vehicle tests is conducted and how the results translate into ratings.IIHS currently conducts four crashworthiness evaluations — the moderate overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front and side tests. We evaluate front crash prevention systems for their ability to recognize and brake for pedestrians, and we also rate headlight systems, seat belt reminders and the child seat attachment hardware known as LATCH. Although we no longer conduct evaluations of roof strength, head restraints and vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention, you can still find those ratings for older models on our website. For crash tests that we conduct at our facility, we purchase the vehicles from dealers just like an ordinary consumer. If the test is being conducted at the manufacturer's request and isn't part of our regular testing schedule, then the manufacturer reimburses us for the vehicle.
Transparency is one of the keys to the success of our ratings program. All of our test protocols are available here.