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NHTSA Proposes New Safety Tests to Make Five-Star Ratings Harder to Earn

America's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of the world leaders in safety tests, is planning a major update for its benchmarks.
Crash tested cars 1 photo
The NHTSA wants to give automotive engineers a new challenge when designing new automobiles. One of America's safety testing organizations proposes overhauling its procedures with new tests, stricter rules and better crash-test dummies, Autoguide informs. The NHTSA also plans to implement a half-star increment in its safety ratings, a quick solution to give the public an easy way to differentiate two comparable cars.

If the changes proposed by the NHTSA are implemented, the United States will get safer cars on the road in a few years’ time. Until then, current models and further releases might not get the five-star ratings that most manufacturers have gotten used to.

The most significant change proposed by the NHTSA for its own rating system implies an oblique frontal crash. The full frontal barrier crash test will also receive improvements to assess the protection level of the rear seat passengers.

Furthermore, the crash test dummies will be upgraded with the test device for Human Occupant Restraint and WorldSID. These two improvements will provide further information regarding the effects of the impact on the human body.

"NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Rating program was the first of its kind and the idea has now spread around the world. Today, we're adding to that legacy of global safety leadership, ensuring that American consumers have the best possible information and taking a significant step forward in our efforts to save lives and prevent injuries," said Mark Rosekind, NHTSA Administrator.

The new NHTSA tests could inspire other safety-minded organizations to improve their requirements. While troubling for carmakers at the moment of introduction, stricter safety requirements will bring safer cars on the road for all consumers, reducing the number of car-related deaths and injuries.


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