Government Updating Its Car Safety Rating System

Government Updating Its Car Safety Rating System

A lot has changed since the federal government first released its 5-star car safety rating system for cars in 1978. Back then, the most significant new technology that may have been part of a new model may have been a cassette player. Now, cars are coming equipped with a variety of new devices and technology focused on improving safety for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians alike.

As such, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced that they would be updating their car safety ratings to include evaluations of driver assistance and crash-avoidance technologies that are becoming standard for most new vehicles, among other changes to the rating system.

The NHSTA’s “5-Star Safety Ratings for the Future,” will start testing in 2018 and affect vehicles beginning with the 2019 model year. The new testing focuses on three key elements: crash avoidance technologies, crashworthiness, and pedestrian protection. Specifically, the NHSTA says the testing will include:

  • Use of the new THOR crash test dummy, the most advanced, human-like frontal crash test dummy in the world;
  • A frontal oblique crash test that measures how well vehicles protect occupants in an angled frontal crash;
  • Improved frontal and side crash tests to protect front and rear seat occupants;
  • Use of the new WorldSID crash test dummy with advanced instrumentation to better predict injuries to various areas of the human body in different types of side crashes;
  • Additional body regions (chest, abdomen, lower spine, and brain) among the factors used to determine 5-Star Safety Ratings;
  • A new rating for performance assessment of selected crash avoidance and advanced technologies (vehicles with more crash avoidance and advanced technologies will earn better safety ratings);
  • First-ever tests to measure head, leg, and pelvic injuries that occur when a person is struck by a moving vehicle;
  • A new rating to determine not only how well a vehicle protects pedestrians, but also whether or not a vehicle is equipped with –and the performance of– pedestrian protection advanced technologies; and
  • Use of half-star ratings to provide more detailed comparative information about vehicle safety performance.

As a car accident attorney, I have seen the tragic consequences that auto collisions can have on individuals and families. Any efforts to help consumers increase their ability to find the safest possible vehicles that can help them avoid injury or death in the event of an accident should be applauded.

At Greening Law, P.C., we provide aggressive, compassionate and experienced representation for car accident victims in Dallas and throughout Texas. Please give us a call at (972) 934-8900 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free initial consultation.