Picking a New Car from Safety Ratings
Written by Greg on October 3, 2014
Anyone who is considering purchasing a new vehicle should make part of their homework looking at the safety ratings for the choices.
Safety ratings for cars or pickup trucks that are manufactured in 2011 or newer are subject to very stringent five-star crash ratings from the government.
Safercar.gov is a great authority that lets you search different model years and manufacturers to compare the safety ratings applicable to each model. You can search by model, class, manufacture or even safety ratings and determine which vehicle is most appropriate for your needs.
There are other organizations that conduct their own crash tests and ratings of vehicles and some are very authoritative as well. According to safercar.gov, the five-star safety ratings provided by the NHTSA is the most thorough rating of the bunch.
Some of the testing that is done includes side impacts, different sized dummies used in crash testing and also providing an overall score for the vehicle in question. Of note is the crash avoidance technologies that are highlighted on the website by model.
Not every vehicle is rated each year and the agency chooses which vehicles they are going to rate by the estimated sales volume for each such model. Crash testing is done into a fixed barrier at 35 mph and extensive video is taken of the impact showing important information utilized in the testing.
Also side impacts have recently been introduced to analyze the potential for injury from side impacts to both the passenger and the driver sides.
Although not tested, the crash avoidance technologies are highlighted on the website and specific model features are pointed out to consumers choosing a new car. One area that has shown significant promise is that of the sensors utilize to recognize when a car gets too close to another car and lets the driver know it is time to apply the brakes in order to avoid a crash.
Vehicles are categorized by weight and type of vehicle and the information should prove immensely helpful to consumers shopping for new car and wondering about its safety.