Meet the Proposed New NHTSA Crash Test Ratings System
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been helping consumers judge the safety of their cars since 1978. Those regulations were never locked in, and continued to evolve with the cars, which got safer as the years went on. This week, regulators proposed the latest round of changes for the NHTSA ratings system to better evaluate today's modern cars, and these changes are big. This new system will include an additional crash test, revised crash test dummies, assessements for pedestrian protection and crash avoidance technology, and half-star ratings instead of the current full-star only system. It's not a matter of ditching what they've been doing, but of adding on more since cars are far more complicated than they were even a few years ago. RELATED: What Happens During a Recall?
The new crash test is called the frontal oblique crash test and is similar to one used by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This type of crash is responsible for a large number of deaths and serious injuries and it's one many automakers have struggled with in past testing. The dummies used in crash tests will also be resized to better evaluate the safety of children in crashes.
Modern car technology gets closer inspection under the proposed new system with a pedestrian rating system to assess frontal and rear automatic braking. Crash avoidance technology is included with evaluation of forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and automatic headlight beam switching all added to the list. According to Jalopnik, a decision on the new system will be made by the end of 2016 with possible implementation for the 2019 model year.
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