What Are the Different Vehicle Safety Ratings?

Two entities exist to judge cars on a range of safety features, the non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the government-run National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They each have a different set of criteria for vehicles.

The NHTSA rates vehicles with a system ranging from one star to five stars. Their tests consist of three impacts to the vehicle, a frontal, a side impact and a rollover test. Each test is conducted at speeds over 20 mph. After all tests are complete, the car receives a rating, with five stars being the best rating.

The IIHS uses four descriptive terms to rate cars, ranging from Poor through Marginal and Acceptable to Good. It conducts five crash tests, including striking a barrier at speeds in excess of 40 mph. It also tests roof strength and head restraints. A vehicle passing with flying colors receives the designation of Top Safety Pick. Considering all safety tests allows buyers to receive the most comprehensive information about their chosen vehicle.

 

 

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