For over 30 years that Adrian Lund was in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the last 20 were spent making sure that cars are built to provide better protection in crashes. As IIHS's president from 2006 to 2017, Lund saw the improvement of modern vehicles on the safety front.
And what better way to showcase the importance of IIHS than to experience a crash himself – on a car that he and the agency have helped improve in terms of safety.
In a recent video, Lund recalls what happened when his 2020 BMW 540i had a head-on collision with him behind the wheel. It was an early Saturday morning in August, Lund estimated that he was running around 60 to 65 miles per hour on Interstate 95. Then suddenly, a 2016 BMW 228i traveling the wrong way appeared on the express lane, hit him head-on, and sent his car spinning and rolling before coming to a halt, upside down.
"This was a high-speed crash, one that probably 10 years ago, I wouldn't be here to talk to you about it," Lund said in the video.
Lund suffered injuries as a result of the crash but he's alive. Unfortunately, the other driver did not survive. The 29-year-old woman, who made a U-turn on the highway and went the wrong way, was ejected from the vehicle because she wasn't wearing a seat belt.
"In the end, it's all about one thing – providing vehicle occupants with the best possible protection in the event of an actual crash. IIHS has also been pursuing the same goal for decades. By setting requirements and performing tests derived from real-world crashes, they have been instrumental in driving vehicle safety," said Dominik Schuster, vice president of vehicle safety at BMW.
"Ultimately, the crash Adrian Lund had with his BMW 540i is a powerful example of how the interaction between consumer protection organizations like IIHS and automakers saves lives on the road," he added.