Five Star Safety Ratings for New Cars

A big thumbs up to NHTSA for its decision to update its Five Star Safety Ratings for new vehicles.

NHTSA announced this week that it would upgrade the rating system by adding additional crash tests, use new and more human-like crash test dummies, rate crash-avoidance advanced technologies, and assess pedestrian protection

The changes are designed to both give consumers better information when it comes to choose a safe car and to encourage manufacturers to make cars with more crash protection.

The Five Star Safety Ratings crash tests new vehicles every year and currently rates them on how well they protect occupants in frontal, side and rollover crashes.  Results of the tests are then placed into a rating of one to five stars, with more stars indicating a safer car.  The ratings appear on window stickers for new vehicles.

The director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, Jack Fisher, said "This is a big step forward to make these ratings as useful and relevant as possible to consumers shopping for a new vehicle.  For the first time, NHTSA is fully incorporating crash-avoidance technology into the ratings.  This means you'll know not only how well the vehicle protects you in a crash, but also how well it helps you avoid a crash before it happens.  The upgrades will make a critical differnce in improving the marketplace and making cars that are much safer".

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