Changes Coming To Federal 5-Star Safety Ratings Program

This article describes changes that are forthcoming to the federal safety ratings program. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) provides comparative information on the safety of new vehicles to assist consumers with vehicle purchasing decisions and encourage motor vehicle manufacturers to make vehicle safety improvements. The 38-year-old program will be updated, with changes due to be implemented in 2018 for model-year 2019 vehicles. The NHTSA crash-tests new vehicles and rates them on how well they protect occupants in full-frontal, side, and rollover crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety ratings program, which started in 1995, includes offset front, side, rollover, and rear tests, tests of automatic braking systems, and headlights; these tests are designed to complement the NHTSA ratings. The proposed changes to NCAP include a crash avoidance rating based on nine features: forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking; lane departure warning; blind spot detection; frontal pedestrian autobrake; rear pedestrian autobrake; high-performing low-beam headlights; high-beam assist; and amber rear-turn-signal lamps. In addition, a new generation of crash dummies (THOR 50th percentile) will be used in the tests. Readers are referred to the full-text of the 71-page National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposal on changes to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP); the IIHS comment on those proposed changes; a general page on crash avoidance technologies; and a link to more Status Report articles on crash testing and crashworthiness.


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  • Accession Number: 01597822
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 2016 11:08AM