U.S. DOT Wants to Change Vehicle Safety Ratings
Posted on behalf of Harbin & Burnett on Dec 15, 2015 in Auto Accidents
The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed an updated safety ratings system for new cars and trucks, which is expected to go into effect in 2019.
The five-star crash ratings are administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and have been in use since 1978. The system has undergone several changes over the years.
The ratings are not mandatory requirements for automakers, but are intended to provide consumers with better information when purchasing a car.
The five-star rating scale was introduced in 1994, replacing the previous pass/fail system. These ratings, which now also include half stars, help shoppers compare the relative safety of different vehicles beyond federal requirements.
The current tests are based on the performance of three collision tests. The new system will add a fourth test, as well pedestrian safety collision tests and crash-avoidance technology requirements.
The new collision tests will include a frontal oblique crash test, and the improved full frontal barrier crash test. New pedestrian crash safety tests will assess how well vehicles protect pedestrians against head, pelvic and leg injuries when these types of crashes occur.
Crash-avoidance systems include lane departure warnings, forward collision detection and rear cameras for visibility. A database of cars that include these features can currently be viewed on NHTSA's safercar.gov site.
In addition to the new requirements, crash test dummies have been improved to move in a more life-like fashion, providing more useful data from collision tests. Over 100 new sensors have been added to the bodies of dummies, including four new sensors on the rib cage.
Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx believes that these new safety advancements could be game changers that could drastically reduce car accidents.
Even with more advanced safety features, accidents will still occur. The majority of auto wrecks are due to human error.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle collision, call the experienced car accident attorneys at Harbin & Burnett today. We offer a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We will fight to get you justice.