The IIHS has finalised its results of three crash tests of the same vehicle at different speeds.

What happens if you’re travelling 25km/h faster when you’re in a crash? In the difference performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in North America, there was nearly twice the crash energy at 90km/h compared to 65km/h.

For good measure, the IIHS performed a crash with the same vehicle at 80km/h, which showed even just a 15km/h increase can cause a significant difference.

The vehicle used for crash testing was a 2010 Honda CR-V, on account of its availability and that the average age of vehicles on the road in the US is around ten years old.

As a note, we’d suggest that the newer crash structure in an MY21 CR-V might hold up a better, though the IIHS also notes that the 2010 Honda CR-V is one of the best-performing cars in its year at the moderate-overlap crash test at 65km/h.


When the Honda hit the wall at 65km/h, there was a minimal intrusion in the cabin and the dummy comes off relatively unscathed. An increase in speed, however, and the potential for severe injury or a fatality increases dramatically.


At 80km/h, just 15km/h faster, the vehicle’s structure comes under far greater stress and begins to deform and endanger the driver.

“There was noticeable deformation of the driver side door opening, dashboard and foot area,” says the IIHS. “The steering wheel’s upward movement caused the dummy’s head to go through the deployed airbag. This caused the face to smash into the steering wheel.”


And then at 90km/h, things are worse, with almost 100 per cent more crash energy at the point of impact. The IIHS said that the driver could suffer severe neck injuries and that the car was significantly compromised.


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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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