Adrian Lund ( top left ) is president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the affiliated Highway Loss Data Institute. He joined the Institute in 1981 as a behavioral scientist.Brian O'Neill ( top right ) served as president of IIHS and HLDI from 1985 until January 2006. He joined the Institute in 1969.William Haddon Jr., M.D. ( bottom left ) became Institute president in1969 and served until his death in 1985. He was the first federal highway safety chief.Russell Ira Brown ( bottom right ) was the first Institute president, serving from 1959 until 1967., VA in Ruckersville The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety ( IIHS ) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage that result from crashes on the nation's roads. Our research focuses on three main areas: human factors, or preventing crashes by changing driver behavior ; vehicle factors, or reducing deaths and injuries by improving vehicle design ; and environmental factors, or changing roadway design, signs, and signals to reduce crashes.The Highway Loss Data Institute ( HLDI ) shares and supports this mission through scientific studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles and by publishing insurance loss results by vehicle make and model. Learn more about HLDI.For decades, IIHS has been a leader in finding out what works and doesn't work to prevent motor vehicle crashes from happening in the first place and to minimize injuries in the crashes that still occur.IIHS was founded in 1959 by three major insurance associations representing 80 percent of the US auto insurance market. At first, IIHS's purpose was to support highway safety efforts by others. A decade later, IIHS was reinvented as an independent research organization. William Haddon Jr., M.D., who served as the nation's first federal highway safety chief, oversaw this transition after becoming president of IIHS in 1969. By then, he already was leading the transformation of the highway safety field from one focused solely on accident prevention to one using a modern, scientific approach to identify a full range of options for reducing crash losses. In particular:Human factors research addresses problems associated with teenage drivers, alcohol-impaired driving, truck driver fatigue, and safety belt use, to name a few.Vehicle research focuses on both crash avoidance and crashworthiness. Crash tests are central to crashworthiness research, and IIHS testing expanded with the opening of the Vehicle Research Center.Research aimed at the physical environment includes, for example, assessment of roadway designs to reduce run-off-the-road crashes and eliminate roadside hazards.