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NHTSA safety ratings, crash tests in need of updating

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2020 | Car Accidents |

If a loved one in Kentucky suffered a serious injury in a car wreck, then it may benefit them to learn more about personal injury law. If the loved one was driving a vehicle that has received a four- or five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, then perhaps the vehicle was not as safe as one might have expected.

Unfortunately, this is becoming common as reports come out saying that the NHTSA’s car safety rating system is outdated. One such report, released in October 2019, criticizes the NHTSA for not adding new procedures to its crash tests and not performing more tests in general.

U.S. no longer a leader in crash tests

The report, written by a former leader in the development of the NHTSA’s crash testing program in earlier decades, states that Europe, Asia and Latin America all surpass the U.S. in the quantity of their crash tests. Europe tests its vehicles four times as much as the U.S. before rating their safety level.

The NHTSA has promised new test procedures, new ratings for emerging safety tech like pedestrian detection and even new crash dummies that better represent vehicle occupants. Yet lack of funding and other obstacles stand in the way of fulfillment.

Benefits of real-world FARS data

Potential car buyers need more than crash test results when making a decision. This is where the Fatality Analysis Reporting System comes in: It provides data on how vehicles fare in real-life incidents. More work needs to be done to make this data easily accessible to consumers.

Seeking legal representation

Testing new safety tech is important because it can unwittingly pose a distraction to drivers. Perhaps your loved one was the victim of a distracted driver. Whatever negligent actions are involved in car accidents, victims may be able to recover damages through a personal injury claim. You may want a lawyer to evaluate the case before moving forward.