Gold Stars for New and Improved NHTSA Safety Ratings

Earlier this month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator David Strickland announced a new and improved “5-Star Safety Ratings System for new vehicles and released the safety ratings for the first model year 2011 vehicles tested under the program.”

Some of the key improvements to the ratings system include such specifics as side pole crash testing and crash prevention-technologies.

Safety has no gender and another area of change is that, yes, for the very first time the new system will use female crash test dummies to simulate crashes. Prior to this, male crash test dummies were used exclusively.

Secretary LaHood said that the new system is “raising the bar on safety.” He continued by saying that the “new tests, better crash data, and higher standards” will toughen-up the safety ratings and provide more meaningful information for consumers.

The new ratings cover three big areas of concern: frontal crash, side crash, and rollover resistance. Several specifics will be helpful for consumers in determining safety, including electronic stability control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning systems. There will also be an Overall Vehicle Score for every car tested.

The California Injury Attorney Blog supports any and all efforts to provide consumers meaningful data on safety to avoid accidents.

The San Francisco law firm of Hersh & Hersh has a long history of improving the health and safety of the consuming public. We are pleased that the new safety ratings criteria have been put in place to help consumers identify potentially safer vehicles. If you have any questions about our representation of victims and their families in personal injury and auto accident cases, contact our California office to speak directly with one of our attorneys.