The vehicles that we are driving nowadays are much safer than what was before. However, if you look at the crash test results from different agencies then you will find that there can be differences.

While buying a new car, surely you will like to see the crash test result to make your decision. Therefore, following are few important things that you need to know about these crash test results.

  • Side-impact results differing

The NHTSA test now incorporates side barrier test by simulating that vehicle crashes its sideways into a post or tree. This test must reveal most of the weaknesses that was not possible earlier.

The sled crash test which is adopted by the IIHS may almost be of full-size SUV that simulates much more difficult scenario. Hence, comparison may be valid for side-impact tests for vehicle of all classes.

  • Compare the crash test results

All that you can do is compare the frontal crash results of same class of vehicle who are in the same range of weight. As this specific test will analyze only how that vehicle would fare in comparison to another of almost the same weight, but not one larger with a much smaller vehicle.

Any larger vehicle having low rating will be unsafe as compared to smaller vehicle with higher rating.

  • Disparities between agencies

There are two agencies who are usually responsible for performing all these frontal crash test and publish their test results.

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  2. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Both uses different method of testing and hence it is difficult to compare them. However, it has been observed that IIHS test results are comparatively more accurate.

  • Star-ratings changes

During the year 2011, the car assessment system of the NHTSA has been totally overhauled. New methods of testing have been introduced which are much different from the method done prior to 2011.

Due to this reason, all those cars that are manufactured before 2011, may not have the test results as per the present methods applied by NHTSA. Therefore, it is really difficult to know about their performance under new testing environments.

  • Shortcoming in Government’s rollover ratings

The ratings given by NHTSA were mostly based on mathematical formula and not by actual driving while doing the test. However, after 2004 they started introducing dynamic driving test too.

Though steps are in proper direction but still the accuracy of their test results are questionable.

  • Roof-strength results provides better idea

IIHS is conducting roof-strength test to ensure how the roof of the car can protect the occupants of the car in the accident situation.

This test can offer the consumer a better idea about the car roof and how it can protect them.

  • Whether your model is rated?

Check whether the model that you are going to select having any test report or not. In case it is not available then either its test result is still pending or perhaps it has not undergone any test at all.

Most of the cars produced currently have either NHTSA or IIHS test report.

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