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Lights, Camera, Crash!

Watch a live IIHS crash test

with Becky Mueller and Joe Hanson


Chat Transcript


Join Joe Hanson and Senior Research Engineer Becky Mueller in the IIHS crash hall for an exhilarating session at the intersection of physics and vehicle safety. Witness a controlled crash, learn what it takes to prepare for the 40-mph test, and see how engineers assess the vehicle afterward. Discover how this real-world experiment is an ideal way to teach about force and motion, and gain insight into how this work leads to improvements in vehicle design.

Becky Mueller Senior Research Engineer

Ms. Mueller develops new crash tests for IIHS vehicle ratings that reflect unaddressed real-world scenarios in which injuries occur. Her work led to an updated side test and the first passenger-side frontal test in the Institute’s suite of evaluations. Ms. Mueller has also researched injuries of vulnerable road users, advanced crash test dummies and new injury metrics. Prior to joining IIHS in 2010, Ms. Mueller worked on research projects for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the Transportation Research Center in Ohio. During her graduate studies, she worked at General Motors on frontal crash and pedestrian performance of future vehicles. She received a bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree from Purdue University.


Joe Hanson Creator and Host | Be-Smart_Partner-Logos-72ppi

Joe Hanson, Ph.D., is a science writer, biologist, educator, and YouTube creator. He is the creator and host of Be Smart, an award-winning science education show from PBS that celebrates curiosity and the pleasure of finding things out. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, and his science writing has been published by WIRED, Nautilus, Scientific American and Texas Monthly. He lives in Austin, TX.

Joe's TwitterJoe's InstagramJoe's TikTok.

Notes and Resources:


Crash Cushion Design Lesson

Crash Science in the Classroom Lesson Units by IIHS

The Be Smart YouTube Channel 

The Be Smart website 


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