Security Vehicles and the Moose Test

As we have discussed many times, when confronted with an emergency, accident, or vehicle violence, a Security Driver must have the ability to use the vehicle’s capability.

Lane Change Standard

So, it would be great if we had a standardized test that could test the emergency handling capability of any vehicle. Well, there is; it has existed since 1997; at that time, the German automotive industry launched a safety initiative to define the criteria for a lane change that would accurately measure a vehicle’s emergency handling capability.

Their work resulted in creating a lane change maneuver that tests the emergency handling capability of any vehicle. They produced an exercise recognized by the International Standards Organization (ISO) as a standard for measuring the emergency handling capability of a vehicle; its designation is ISO 3888-2. If you type ISO 3888-2 into Google, you will find the PDFs and drawings of the Lane Change, including exercise dimensions.

Origins of the Moose Test

A Swedish Car Magazine, Teknikens Värld (, adopted ISO 3888-2 as a method of testing the emergency handling capability of the vehicle. The Magazine, along with many others, calls the standard the “Moose Test,” which came from the maneuver a driver would need to make to avoid a Moose. We guess that calling it ISO 3888-2 was too complicated.
Some automotive press hail the Magazine’s Moose Test as the holy grail of vehicle testing for emergency and rollover capability – it is not. The first issue is that the Magazine’s Moose Test does not have the exact dimensions as the ISO Moose test. The ISO has an exact set of dimensions that must be adhered to, and the results are measured with an onboard computer.

Without data, the result of driving through the Moose test is an opinion.

 On the Magazine’s website, you will find very few vehicles have passed the Magazine’s version of the Moose test. In September of 2021, the Mustang Mach E failed the Moose test – before that, about ten years back, the Jeep Cherokee failed the Moose Test badly. The Magazine announced to the world that the Grand Grand Cherokee should be taken off the road. As you can imagine, that statement got Chrysler a little cranky.

Chrysler Example

So Chrysler went to Germany and performed the maneuver by an AMS driver at an automotive test site in Germany sanctioned by an independent German Automobile Organization.

The lane change dimensions and layout, checked and approved by Automotive Motor Sport, were those created by the International Standards Organization (ISO). The results were different, very different. The tests indicated that the Grand Cherokee was (at that time) one of the safest vehicles on the road.

The Grand Cherokee went from “Chrysler should take it off the road” to the Grand Cherokee’s place among the safest SUVs today. Why?

The dimensions of the exercise were accurately set up per ISO 3888-2 – which brings us to the point we want to make. Driving exercises are sensitive to their design.

Some Additional History

Although the ISO test was first developed in 1997, Volvo used the genesis of the exercise in the late 70s to measure vehicle performance. In an Ad we (Scotti School) did with Volvo in 1980 about the handling capability of the Volvo 242GT, the headline was – “This car handles better than most cars famous for handling” it came from comparing the results of driving the Volvo 242GT through the Moose Test and comparing the results by doing the same with European Sports Sedans.

The added benefit of the Ad was that we learned the importance of understanding the effects of exercise design on training. The ISO test precisely defines the dimension of the exercises, specifically the width of the lanes the vehicle will drive through.

As a side note for those that have attended a Scotti School/ VDI Program, the Moose Test is a lane change without the decision component.  

Lesson Learned

The lesson learned that the protective driver training community could learn from the Moose Test and the Jeep Cherokee fiasco is that although the Moose test, as defined and designed in accordance with ISO 3888-2, was developed to create a standard for emergency vehicle capability, it also measures the drivers’ ability to use the vehicles capability; hence it creates an exercise tool for creating a driver standard.

The standard is developed by creating a path the vehicle must drive through and measuring the speed at which the driver navigates that path. The dimension of the exercise must be as laid out as specified in ISO 3888-2, and all measurements must be taken via computer or mathematical analysis.

All those who attended a Scotti School or VDI program know that as the Drivers Equation.

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