Crash Test Ratings 101

Crash-tested 2005 Mitsubishi Lancer photograph...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are crash test ratings for every vehicle. Before you purchase a new car, it is important find the car’s crash test ratings. Every single car is the product of skilled engineers, scientists, and design professionals. The car’s structural design and safety systems of a vehicle make it safe. An effective structural design keeps damage at a minimum. A car’s safety systems protect the occupants.  Safe cars should have strong structural designs and quality safety systems.

Currently, there are two crash test sources: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

NHTSA Crash Tests

This crash tests scores cars based on a one to five star scale. The NHTSA does a front crash test and a side impact tests. NHTSA assigns an overall safety score that combines the results from all of the crash tests. The front crash test weighs the heaviest in the overall score.

In the front crash test, the car is accelerated straight at 35 miles per hour. The vehicle’s entire front end collides into a rigid barrier. The effect of impact on the passengers’ head, neck, chest, and legs is recorded.

In side impact tests, the vehicle is struck on the left by a 3, 015 pound car. The car is driven at a speed of 38.5 mph. This test replicates an intersection collision.

IIHS Crash Tests

IIHS’s rates cars based on a four-level scale: Poor, marginal, Acceptable, and Good.

IIHS’s front crash tests test the vehicle’s structural integrity and restraint performance. It conducts two front-crash tests. In these tests, the car is driven at 40 miles per hour. One test tests the impact on the car in front of the driver.

In the side impact test, a 3,300 pound car collides into the test vehicle. A score is given based on the injury to the passengers’ head, neck, chest, abdomen, pelvis, and legs. In the side impact test, the dummies are designed to represent a small adult female and a teenager.

IIHS’s rear impact crash test replicates a stationary vehicle being struck by another vehicle driving at 20 miles per hour. The test is designed to test the effectiveness of the head-restraint design.

In the case of an accident, a car is primary source of protection. You want a car that can withstand impact. If you are ever in a car accident, you may want to contact an Anaheim car accident lawyer.

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