Crash test ratings for vehicles

One thing we fail to check when we buy a new car is crash test ratings issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA which operates under the Secretary of Transportation sets standards and other regulations for vehicle safety.

The NHTSA vehicle safety rating score vary from one to five stars five being the highest score. Prior to 2011, the NHTSA issued too many five star ratings, especially for frontal crash tests, and as a result ratings became meaningless. In 2011, the agency enhanced its rating system. In addition to side impacts, frontal impacts, and rollover now the agency tests cars skidding into a light post or a tree. The agency which used a simulated male dummy now also uses a simulated female dummy for crash tests. The result is fewer vehicles getting the five star rating.

When you buy a car you need to pay attention to crash test ratings. Make sure to compare similar vehicles in weight and size. A good example is a mini that has a five star rating versus a Cadillac Escalade which carries a similar rating. So, before you buy your next car visit NHTSA website at