NHTSA Makes Five-Star Crash Ratings Tougher to Earn

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is updating its 5-Star Safety Ratings system.

The proposed high-tech changes will improve on the current safety ratings by adding an additional crash test, using new and more human-like crash test dummies, rating crash-avoidance advanced technologies and assessing pedestrian protection. The new tests will assess how well vehicles protect pedestrians from head, leg and pelvic injuries that occur when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle.

As part of the changes, there will also be a new frontal oblique crash test that will measure how well vehicles protect occupants in an angled frontal crash. There will also be improvements made to the full frontal barrier crash test to drive safety improvements for rear seat occupants.

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The new crash test dummies will include the Test device for Human Occupant Restraint, (THOR) and WorldSID, helping provide improved data on the effects a crash is likely to have on the human body.

Half-star increments will also be used to provide consumers more discriminating information on vehicle safety performance.

“NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program was the first of its kind, and the idea has now spread around the world,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “Today, we’re adding to that legacy of global safety leadership, ensuring that American consumers have the best possible information about how to protect themselves and their families, and taking a significant step forward in our efforts to save lives and prevent injuries.”

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