Crash test: 1959 Chevy Bel Air vs 2009 Chevy Malibu


Wayne Wiersma of Wiersma Insurance found a fascinating video clip that demonstrates just how far highway safety has come over the last 50 years. The test was sponsored by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to commemorate the organization’s 50th anniversary. The test compares crashworthiness then and now: a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and 2009 Chevrolet Malibu in 40 mph frontal offset crash test. The original crash video and photos can be found at the IIHS anniversary page, and we’ve found another clip with commentary from Consumer Reports.

See how your vehicle would fare
Use the Consumer Reports Crash Test Selector to see how your make and model would fare thanks to IIHS crash test videos.
Learn about vehicle ratings, auto safety research, laws and regulations and more at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute website. Both are independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organizations dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries, and property damage — from crashes on the nation’s highways.