Posted on behalf of Stephens, Anderson & Cummings on Dec 11, 2015 in Auto Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a significant overhaul of U.S. crash safety tests and the 5-Star Safety Ratings system.
The new ratings aim to provide consumers with better information when picking a car and will encourage manufacturers to produce vehicles that are safer and incorporate more safety technology.
Although it has been periodically updated as new safety features become common, the new rating system will include advanced crash-avoidance technology for the first time.
The proposed changes will focus on crash worthiness, pedestrian safety and crash avoidance, and will be implemented on 2019 model vehicles.
The 5-Star Safety Ratings crash-tests new vehicles as they come on the market and currently rates them based on how well they perform in front, side and rollover crashes. The new system will now include frontal oblique crashes to measure how well vehicles perform when hit from an angle. This is one of the most deadly types of auto accidents.
The new crash tests will also include new crash test dummies that more closely resemble the human body in order to more accurately measure potential injuries from car accidents.
Pedestrian accidents have become a growing problem, now accounting for 14 percent of all road deaths. The new system will place added emphasis on pedestrian safety by testing how well vehicles protect pedestrians from head, neck and pelvic injuries in the event of an accident. New vehicles will also need to include pedestrian automatic braking and avoidance technology.
Because automakers covet five-star ratings, the changes could push them to make advanced technologies like lane departure warning, collision warning, rear automatic braking, and blind-spot detection standard in all vehicles.
The new system will also incorporate the use of half-star increments to better differentiate vehicle performance.
Despite advanced technology and a renewed focus on safety, auto accidents will still happen. If you or someone you love is injured in a crash, contact our auto accident lawyers for a free review of your injury claim.