Federal safety crash tests and the infamous five-star rating system have been in effect since the 1970s. In an effort to combat millions of injuries and fatalities that were occurring from car crashes each year, the federal government implemented these tests through the New Car Assessment Program. These tests are often held as the gold standard for measuring vehicle safety. But while they certainly used to be, they have failed to keep up with evolving safety technology features now often standard.
Failure to Account for Newer Technology in Federal Crash Tests
These tests, which were used to rate each vehicle, took then-standard features like airbags and seatbelts into consideration in their evaluation. However, they fail to account for newer technology such as lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, and emergency automatic braking.
As a result of the test’s inadequacy, the National Highway Safety Administration has published three different types of tests, while agencies such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety evaluate these neglected features.
Too Easy to Manipulate
One of the biggest issues with the test aside from its failure to take newer technology into account is the ease with which auto manufacturers can manipulate it. These automakers understand what is needed to pass the test and do only what needs to be done to secure that four- or five-star rating. The vehicles are not made solely for the purpose of being safe in actual use on the road, but rather to get a good rating. With such a large amount of vehicles receiving four- and five-star rating, many safety and advocacy groups, such as Consumer Reports feel that the test is far too easy.
Advocates Look for Improvements
There are three things that Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety are asking the government to improve upon going forward. These include:
- The safety of bicyclists and pedestrians
- Crash tests
- Crash test dummies
They are also requested that the frontal-crash dummy is updated to one that has been heavily worked on called THOR (Test Device for Human Occupancy Restraint). This crash dummy may be ready to implement quite soon.
The good news is that the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which is the largest car industry trade group in the country, has shared that U.S. auto manufacturers plan on working alongside the NHTSA going forward.
The Michigan Car Accident Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help
At Miller & Tischler, P.C., our team of knowledgeable and experienced Michigan car accident attorneys can help.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it can have physical, emotional, and financial effects. You should never have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. We always have our clients’ best interests at heart and will help to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!