How Do You Check Your Car’s Safety Rating?

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Safe Driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are dedicated to keeping motorists and the roads safe. Both of these organizations carry out different kinds of safety tests that let consumers know how well different motor vehicles stand up to car accidents. Both groups also test vehicle safety features as well. While NHTSA is a government organization, the IIHS is a nonprofit, independent one.

The NHTSA carries out crash tests on new automobiles each year and rates the performances in their 5-Star Safety Ratings program. Five stars is the highest award and it goes down from there. These ratings can be found on new car window stickers, but they can also easily be located online. The NHTSA tests for side-crash protection, rollovers, back overs, and recommends advanced safety technologies.

You can check your vehicle’s NHTSA safety rating by going to their official website. Then, enter your vehicle’s year, make, and model to see the star rating. There will be detailed information about crashworthiness that describes the car’s rollover, frontal, side pole, and side barrier assessments. The webpage should also let you know if the vehicle has any of their recommended crash avoidance technologies.

The IIHS tests vehicles for how well they protect occupants when accidents occur. This agency also looks at a vehicle’s ability to avoid crashes and lessen their severity. To look up a vehicle, visit their site and simply enter the year, make, and model. Their webpages are similar to the ones on the NHTSA website, but IIHS also looks at additional testing areas, like headlights and active safety equipment. Instead of awarding stars like the NHTSA, the IIHS chooses Top Safety Pick vehicles that perform the best during testing.

How Important Are Car Safety Ratings?

Choosing a vehicle with high safety ratings can help ensure that you and your loved ones are safe when driving. The NHTSA and IIHS test for inner and outer structural soundness, as a vehicle’s integrity should be reliable enough to absorb and dissipate crash energy. Stability control is also important, as it helps drivers maintain control when swerving occurs.

The NHTSA and IIHS do not test every single vehicle out on the market since that is not feasible, so they test ones that people purchase most often. In 2019, the NHTSA tested more than 40 different vehicles. Both agencies are constantly evaluating what features to test for on vehicles, so the testing categories and protocols are always evolving. You should look up your car’s safety rating to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Safe Driving

Even the most careful drivers get into accidents, and serious ones can lead to devastating injuries, significant property damage, and worse. If you need legal assistance after a crash, reach out to one of our Highland Park car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Call us at 732-249-4600 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.