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What Is the Moose Test?

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The Toyota Hilux failing the moose test
Photo: Teknikens Värld

Around the world, different automakers have devised different ways of testing vehicles based on the situations and environments those cars could encounter. So, what a European automaker or a Japanese automaker does to test a vehicle might be different than what U.S. automakers do. That’s why most people in the U.S. have probably never heard of the moose test.


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Originating in Sweden in the 1970s, the moose test evaluates how well a vehicle can avoid suddenly appearing obstacles. The official name of the assessment is the evasive maneuver test, but since 1997 many assessors call it the moose test or elk test because of what it seems to evaluate: how well a car can avoid hitting a moose. The maneuvers performed during the assessment also simulate swerving around a child in the road or a car reversing onto the street.

The test takes place on a dry test track in which a driver must quickly swerve a moving, full-occupied car in one direction (the left lane) and then immediately in the opposite direction (the right lane), following an “S” path. If the car doesn’t skid, lose control, or flip, the maneuver repeats at faster speeds until it does so.

While U.S. automakers don’t apply the moose test as religiously, it’s common in Nordic countries, Canada, and parts of Russia.  The moose test is common enough in Sweden that it’s frequently an element of designing Volvo and Saab models. And, the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute even created a dummy moose with identical properties to a real moose to effectively simulate collisions with moose.

Luckily, U.S. drivers don’t have to worry about colliding with moose on the road, but plenty of deer roam the roads at night to avoid.


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Source: How Stuff Works