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Updates Proposed for Crash Test Ratings in America

It is common for Phoenix consumers to review safety ratings of a new car that they are thinking about purchasing. It is reasonable to wonder how their potential vehicle is likely to fare in the event of a car accident, and safety ratings, crash reports, and other factors can help in that regard. But far fewer drivers understand the ways in which crash ratings are derived or what they mean for the ability of the driver and potential passengers to withstand an impact.

In the United States, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crafts ratings for new vehicles based on a barrage of testing designed to simulate real-world collisions, including head-on crashes and rear-end impacts. But not every type of common crash is represented at present, making the NHTSA consider new forms of impacts to incorporate into its ratings.

The proposed additions include a new angled frontal-crash test as well as the use of more technologically advanced dummies in the tested vehicles. The angled frontal-crash is considered to be one of the most deadly forms of typical accidents on American roads which is why NHTSA wants to test a vehicle’s ability to withstand those impacts. The newer, more technologically advanced dummies are designed to better represent a human body with features including a spine that bends and a neck that can rotate in a more human-like manner than current dummies. Experts believe that more realistic dummies will lead to a greater understanding of the likelihood for injuries or fatalities occurring in certain situations.

These proposed changes will not go into effect before 2019 which means that automobile manufactures will have time to design their new vehicles to comply with the new testing. The goal of these revisions to the crash score system is to make vehicles which are safer, better able to withstand a typical impact, and less likely to harm that vehicle’s occupants. Yet other factors made be considered in a car’s score as collision-deterrent systems, including lane departure warnings, and advances in pedestrian-crash avoidance into mind.

These proposed changes will be met with comments during a 60 day period before any final decisions are made.

While vehicles in Arizona continue to get safer every year, the number of collisions that happen in this state continue to be too high, costing lives, leaving victims injured, and enacting an enormous financial toll. If you were hurt in a car accident in Maricopa County or if someone you love was injured or killed in a collision, make sure you understand your legal rights before you take any action. Failing to do so may lead to errors and can potentially lead you to lose your right to seek relief.

If you have questions, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191. We have a lawyer available 24/7 to speak with you and we have helped countless victims obtain the settlements they deserve for their injuries. If tragedy has harmed your family, call Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us get to work for you.

Prior Blog Entry:

Emergency Vehicles and the Right-of-Way in Arizona, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published November 8, 2015.


U.S. Looks to Revamp Auto Safety Ratings, Add High-Tech Crash Dummies, by Jeff Plungis, Insurance Journal, published December 9, 2015.

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