Safety Issue Brief
Honda has a long history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and designs to enhance the safety of all road users, including automobile occupants, motorcycle riders, and pedestrians. The company operates two of the world's most sophisticated crash test facilities and is responsible for numerous pioneering efforts in the areas of airbag technology, collision compatibility and pedestrian safety. This commitment to safety is based on Honda's goal of being a company that "society wants to exist," and it complements the company's leadership in reducing vehicle emissions, improving fuel efficiency, and advancing alternatives to gasoline.
Comprehensive Approach to Safety
- Honda takes a comprehensive approach to vehicle safety, seeking to provide enhanced levels of occupant protection and help with crash avoidance in all Honda and Acura passenger vehicle designs, while also making an active commitment to enhance safety for the occupants of other vehicles as well as pedestrians and other road users.
- The company's ‘Safety for Everyone' initiative, undertaken in October 2003, helped lead the industry to the increased application of standard safety features. In 2006, the company fulfilled the core part of the initiative, to equip virtually all Honda and Acura vehicles with a core suite of advanced safety features as standard equipment, regardless of vehicle size or price.
Crash Test Ratings
- Honda has been a consistent leader in achieving top-level safety ratings for its vehicles in both government and private industry crash test ratings.
- The 2011 Accord is the first vehicle to earn a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and a 5-star rating for all three underlying categories (frontal, side crash and rollover) under the NHTSA's recently modified safety ratings system; while the 2011 Odyssey is the first minivan to achieve a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score.
- The 2011 Odyssey is the first minivan to achieve a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the NHTSA and a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the IIHS, including a score of "GOOD" in all four IIHS ratings categories, including the more rigorous roof-strength test.
- In the 2009 model year, Acura became the first-ever automotive nameplate to earn a "Top Safety Pick" rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for ALL models in its lineup.
- Also in model year 2009 – prior to changes in the IIHS ratings system for model year 2010 and NCAP system in 2011 – American Honda (Honda and Acura brands) had more vehicles earning both a NHTSA five-star crash safety rating and a IIHS "Top Safety Pick" rating than any other automaker.
Compatibility and the ACE™ Body Structure
Honda has played a leading role in addressing the issue of compatibility in collisions between vehicles of different size, mass and ride height.
- In 2005, Honda introduced the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure on the Acura RL to enhance occupant protection in a frontal collision between vehicles of different sizes and ride heights.
- 19 of the 21 Honda and Acura vehicles sold today – representing more than 95% of American Honda's new-vehicle sales in the U.S. – incorporate the ACE body structure.
As part of its commitment to improving safety for all road users, Honda has also led the U.S. automotive industry in the application of features designed to reduce injuries to pedestrians in a collision, such as collapsible hood hinges and breakaway windshield wiper pivots, with a focus on reducing severe head injuries, which account for 60 percent of pedestrian fatalities.
- In advancing its designs, Honda first sought to better understand the dynamics of pedestrian collisions with the development of POLAR II, widely recognized as the world's most advanced pedestrian crash test dummy. Tests conducted with POLAR II led to the development of the above noted features.
- In September 2008, Honda introduced its third-generation POLAR III test dummy with the enhanced ability to measure crash forces in the lower back and upper leg areas.
- More than 9 million Honda and Acura vehicles purchased by U.S. customers, including all model year 2008 and newer vehicles (except the S2000 – discontinued for MY2010) feature pedestrian injury mitigation features and designs.
Advanced Safety Testing
Honda operates two of the world's most sophisticated crash test laboratories for development of improved safety designs and technologies.
- The company's Tochigi, Japan, facility was the world's first indoor, multi-directional car-to-car crash testing facility. The Tochigi facility has played a critical role in the development of enhanced designs for occupant and pedestrian safety as well as vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility.
- Honda R&D America's Raymond, Ohio, development center performs advanced testing on all U.S.- developed models. The facility features the world's first crash test sled with the ability to simulate the forward pitching motion of an automobile in a frontal collision, allowing for more accurate simulations of vehicle crash dynamics. The Ohio facility also features one of the world's highest resolution impact barriers – a 100-ton moveable crash test block with reconfigurable sides and 450 load cells – enabling precise measurement of the distribution of impact load forces on a vehicle to aid in the development of more advanced vehicle designs.
Industry-Leading Air Bag Technologies
Honda has long been a leader in introducing the industry's most advanced air bag systems, including:
- The first front passenger airbag to deploy vertically from the instrument panel, rather than directly at the passenger.
- Occupants in the outboard seating positions of every row of every new Honda and Acura vehicle are protected by side curtain airbags.
Other Pioneering Efforts
Honda has been a leader in developing next generation safety technologies, including:
- A Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) – introduced on the 2006 Acura RL – as well as continuing research toward future collision avoidance systems and designs for automobiles and motorcycles.
The world's first fully-integrated rider airbag system for a production motorcycle – introduced on the 2006 Honda Gold Wing touring motorcycle.
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