Which vehicle is safer in a crash test – a 1959 Chevy Bel Air or a 2009 Chevy Malibu? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety celebrated their 50th anniversary with a crash test to demonstrate that car crashworthiness has dramatically improved the last 50 years. "It was night and day, the difference in occupant protection," says Institute president Adrian Lund. "What this test shows is that automakers don't build cars like they used to. They build them better." In a real-world collision similar to this test, occupants of the new model would fare much better than in the vintage Chevy.
The crash test was conducted at an event to celebrate the contributions of auto insurers to highway safety progress over 50 years. Beginning with the Institute's 1959 founding, insurers have maintained the resolve to "conduct, sponsor, and encourage programs designed to aid in the conservation and preservation of life and property from the hazards of highway accidents."
See the crash test on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/iihs#p/u/6/xtxd27jlZ_g
Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety July 15, 2010