The NHTSA Could Change Its 5-Star Safety Rating System

A recent report from the Detroit News claims that the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will soon be changing their 5-star safety rating system that has been in place since 1978. It’s about time.
Tesla Model S crash test 1 photo
Photo: motortrend
According to them, a statement will be made today, revealing a plan to change the way cars and trucks are awarded 5 stars in their safety assessing procedures.

On top of this big news, the outlet also claims that the institution plans to change the new vehicle stickers, to tell the customers if the cars they plan on buying come with automated braking systems or not. However, that doesn’t necessarily imply that car makers wanting to sell their products on US ground are obliged to include such features on their cars from now on.

Even so, such a change in regulations could come later on, as such systems have proved themselves useful, especially in the context of raising texting behind the wheel accidents across the nation. If the cars would be equipped with such devices, the death toll would drop significantly.

Of course, manufacturers might not agree as such a move would force them to offer more kit for free or bump up their prices which wouldn’t be a perfect solution right now, as the auto market is recovering.

“NHTSA believes it has the capabilities — and the responsibilities — to estimate the effectiveness of these crash-avoidance systems, without waiting for years or crash data, in order to make regulatory decisions and save more lives,” NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told the Congress in a hearing back in 2013.

The government body has had this proposition on the table since back then but no decision has been made in the meantime despite having a self-imposed schedule that demanded a decision by the end of 2013. Now it seems that the time has come for major changes to take place.

Other updates could include introducing a new testing method to assess how safe the cars are for older people and families. These tests would be performed separately to get the most accurate data.
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