Adrian Lund spent decades pushing automakers to improve the crashworthiness of their vehicles.
Last year, the retired president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety experienced what he watched crash test dummies go through countless times — and says he avoided serious injury largely because he was in a car that got top ratings on all of its tests.
“This was a high-speed crash — one that probably 10 years ago, I wouldn’t be here to talk to you about it,” he said in a video IIHS released last week.
Lund, who retired from IIHS in 2017, was driving in the Interstate 95 express lanes near his Virginia home last August when a vehicle going the wrong way struck his 2020 BMW 540i, causing it to spin and roll over. The wrong-way driver was ejected and died.
His BMW was an IIHS Top Safety Pick, having earned “good” ratings in all six categories that IIHS assesses, including the small overlap front and roof strength tests that simulate the kind of situation Lund experienced. Lund was bruised and cut and sometimes felt dizzy for several weeks afterward.
But said he had been relieved to discover he still had room to move his legs while hanging upside down as he waited for emergency personnel to cut him out of the vehicle.
“Considering the crash I was in — that I had a frontal followed by a rollover — yeah, I’m pretty lucky,” Lund said. “The car did its job.”