What Determines Vehicle Safety Ratings?

by Cameron Bramwell

Although every vehicle sold in the United States must meet minimum safety requirements, the government also uses safety ratings to encourage consumers to purchase safe vehicles as well as to encourage manufacturers to focus on safety features. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 5-Star Safety Ratings measure the likelihood of an injury occurring in a number of situations, weighted against the average. For example, a passenger in a vehicle that has received a 5-Star front crash rating is much less likely to be injured in a crash (occurring in the front) than a passenger in a vehicle that has received a lower rating. Additionally, the NHTSA’s safety ratings highlight crash avoidance technologies present in vehicles, which can include electronic stability controls, lane departure warnings and sensors that automatically apply the brakes to avoid collisions. For more information on safety ratings, and to view the rating for your vehicle, visit http://www.safercar.gov/Safety+Ratings.

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