Car Safety Ratings

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cars are evaluated on safety via rating systems.  These ratings give the motorist an idea on the level of the car’s safety and determine how well a car will protect the occupants inside during a crash.   After several crash tests, rating systems (based from good, acceptable, marginal or poor) test the cars and rate them on several factors.  When purchasing a vehicle, it is wise to see how your potential new car has fared in the ratings. 

The following are some of the criteria used to rate cars.

  • Side impact: High speeds tend to increase the chances of fatality when a motorist is involved in an accident. Therefore, a majority of car manufacturers install rigid side beams in the doors. They also install side curtain and side impact airbags to lessen the force of the collision on the passengers.

  • Frontal offset (Airbags):  A test of the car’s front airbags and crumble zones to ensure that they are up to par. This increases the chances of survival because without this feature a head on collision could be fatal for the motorist. Motorists who buy a vehicle should ensure that this feature is tested as it directly affects their well being.

  • Head restraint (Rear Crash Protection): Whiplash has been a major cause of injuries for motorists involved in auto accidents and collisions. Therefore, many car manufacturers install rear crumble zones for cars. Active head restraints ensure maximum safety.   These devices offer a higher degree of support for motorists in case they get hit in the rear.

  • Rollover (Roof Strength):  Cars that are involved in an auto accident may roll over.   Car manufacturers reinforce the roof with pillar to make them stronger.

There are various websites to help in your research of car safety ratings, some are listed below:

When researching your next car, it is good practice to always check the safety rating of the vehicle you might be interested in.  Consumers should know how their vehicle stands up for safety by reading reports based on ratings, impact tests and safety features.  Buying insurance for a highly ranked safety car may also be lower.   Although having a car that rates well in safety may not help to avoid an accident, it may help in avoiding injury if an accident does happen.