Take The Information Superhighway To Driving Safely

Take The Information Superhighway To Driving Safely



Whether you're thinking of​ buying a​ new car or​ just doing some research on your current one, the U.S. Department of​ Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a​ Web site that can help in​ several ways.

Easy Access to​ Safety Ratings

One of​ the site's most convenient features is​ the 5 Star Crash Test and Rollover Ratings search engine. This online database lets you look up a​ vehicle by make, model and year to​ quickly access its safety rating. Ratings are based on a​ one- to​ five-star scale, with five being the highest. Since online test results go all the way back to​ 1990, this can also be the "go-to" place for those seeking information on used vehicles.

The ratings are determined by:

1. Frontal crash test: Crash-test dummies representing an​ average-sized adult are placed in​ driver and front passenger seats and secured with the vehicle's seat belts. Vehicles are crashed into a​ fixed barrier at​ 35 mph, which is​ equivalent to​ a​ head-on collision between two similar vehicles each moving at​ 35 mph.

2. Side crash test: Crash-test dummies representing an​ average-sized adult are placed in​ the driver and rear passenger seats (driver's side) and secured with the vehicle's seat belts. The side crash test represents an​ intersection-type collision with a​ 3,015-pound barrier moving at​ 38.5 mph into a​ standing vehicle.

3. Rollover ratings test: Rollover ratings starting with the 2018 model year include the results of​ a​ recently implemented tipping test. Dubbed the "fishhook" for its serpentine design, this rigorous on-the-road safety test measures your chance of​ rollover and is​ the first of​ its kind to​ be conducted by a​ government agency. Rollover ratings for previous model years are based solely on a​ stationary test that measures how "top heavy" a​ vehicle is.

Defects and Recalls

In case you think your current car or​ truck has a​ defect, the site has a​ section where you can file a​ safety complaint, research ongoing investigations and check for recalls. Your online complaint submissions help lead to​ recalls and increase highway safety for everyone. in​ addition to​ reporting complaints about vehicles, vehicle equipment or​ tires, you can use this to​ file a​ complaint about a​ child safety seat. The site also provides useful information on rollover prevention, air bag safety and tire ratings.




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