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The US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recorded a video in which it clearly showed the difference in damage to the same car in a collision at 40 and 50 miles per hour (64 and 80 kilometers per hour). Experts have answered the popular question why crash tests are always carried out at low speeds, although cars can drive much faster.

IIHS Vice President Raul Arbelaez made it clear that in the context of crash testing, faster does not mean more representative. The goal of the research is to make cars safer in common accidents, so the average speed at which accidents occur most often is selected from a large body of real-life incidents involving serious injuries.

The paradox is that testing at high speeds (for example, 137 km/h) can negatively affect the safety of cars in the average collision. In order for the body to withstand the loads of high-speed crashes, it needs to be made more rigid, which will entail unforeseen consequences in minor incidents.

Increasing crash test speeds by 16 km/h could have a significant impact on vehicle design. Although 80 km/h is 25% faster than 64 km/h, the difference in crash force will be 56%. IIHS experts emphasize that even a slight increase in collision speed requires serious modifications to the vehicles being tested – otherwise, crash test scores leave much to be desired.

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