Roadmap to Vehicle Safety
Before you get behind the wheel, your car has already been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to measure how well you and others are protected. Here’s what the NHTSA looks for and the features they recommend.
If you’ve ever conducted research while shopping for a new or used car, you may have taken notice of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) car safety ratings. Each year, the NHTSA conducts its New Car Assessment Program, testing the newest cars, sports utility vehicles, trucks and vans to determine how well these vehicles protect drivers and passengers during a crash.
When it comes to car safety ratings, a vehicle’s ability to protect its occupants is crucial. In order to calculate a vehicle’s 5-Star Safety Rating, the NHTSA puts its famous crash test dummies to work in a series of crash tests. From rollover resistance tests to head-on collisions, the NHTSA evaluates how well each vehicle protects crucial areas of a passenger’s body during various types of accidents. Vehicle safety is then assessed on a five-star grading system – one star being the lowest rating.
If you’re shopping for a vehicle , there are a few additional features you can look for beyond car safety ratings. The NHTSA recommends looking for cars that offer the following types of driver assistance technologies:
- Forward collision warning
- Lane departure warning
- Blind spot detection system
- Rearview video system
- Automatic emergency braking
While a vehicle safety rating is a great place to start your research, bear in mind that older vehicles will not have some of these technologies available. But if you’re purchasing a brand-new car, keep these features on your radar.
Your car may be as safe as can be, but what about your child’s first car? Find out what you should search for when buying your new driver their first set of wheels.
- Purchasing With Safety in Mind, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2017.
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