Highway fatalities have generally fallen over the past decade thanks to strict safety regulation and significant improvements to crash safety over the years. In the U.S., the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has played a core part of the equation. Now, the IIHS has finally shared the intricacies of the crash testing process.

According to IIHS research engineer and test coordinator Andrew Brethwaite, the necessary checklist and preparation before smashing a brand new vehicle into a concrete wall is virtually endless. When thousands of cars are being tested, uniform testing and consistency in results are a priority. For example, weight tests mimicking an average adult are tested to properly position the seating and weight distribution inside the vehicle. When the seating position is recorded, engineers measure interior trim prior to the crash to take account of panel intrusion towards the occupant after the crash.

All black boxes and power supplies for the instrumentation and cameras are bolted right to the floor of the vehicle's trunk. On board digital cameras, lights, stripe tapes, and targets allows analysts to document how much movement has taken place during the impact. Cameras are mounted at the crash facility as well to track the vehicle as it is launched across the IIHS crash test runway.

Of course, before all the camera fitment and sensor installation are performed, the vehicle is first inspected to assure there has been no prior damage. Next, all fluids are drained from the vehicle to avoid a mess. Fuel is substituted by a purple solution of equal weight to act as an indicator should the impact compromise the fuel cell and fuel lines.

It is truly mind blowing to see all the preparation necessary to ultimately destroy a new vehicle. Watch the video from IIHS below: