The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a five-star rating system in place for measuring vehicle safety. Since the 1990s, it has been a great help both to prospective car buyers in Ohio and to those in the automotive industry. However, there are limitations to the system, and while NHTSA has plans to address these, it cannot do so while funding and support are low.
Back in October 2019, a former leader of the NHTSA’s crash testing program in the 1970s released a critical report saying that the federal agency is misleading car buyers with its rating system. One reason is the insufficient amount of crash testing. Europe, the report asserts, has four times as many crash tests done as the U.S. Asia and Latin America also surpass the U.S. in this area.
Another deficiency is that the rating system does not cover all the car safety features that have come out in recent years, such as pedestrian detection. Again, the NHTSA has promised to make these additions, but definite change has yet to come. The NHTSA has promised to design new crash test dummies as well.
Crash tests alone cannot accurately give drivers an idea of how well the vehicles hold up in a crash. Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System may act as a supplement, though.
No matter how safe a vehicle may be, the driver is still responsible for keeping it under control at all times. If they fail in this by being distracted or acting aggressively behind the wheel, then they could be held liable for any auto accidents they cause. The victim of a driver’s negligence could file a claim and be eligible for compensation, but they may want a lawyer to assist.