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DOT Wants Accident Avoidance Technologies Included in U.S. Crash Ratings

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Dec 08, 2015 in Car Accidents

crash test dummyThe U.S. Department of Transportation recently proposed an overhaul to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) crash safety ratings system. The new system will toughen standards and include advanced crash avoidance technologies. The administration’s “five star” ratings are not mandatory, but highly coveted by auto manufacturers as a selling point.

The proposed system will rate cars and trucks across three dimensions: pedestrian safety, crash worthiness and crash avoidance. The addition of crash avoidance technology is probably the biggest change. Features such as forward collision detection, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and pedestrian automatic emergency braking systems will now be required to obtain a positive rating.

The NHTSA’s safety rating system was first introduced in 1978 as a way to encourage investment in safety technologies by automakers. It began as a simple pass/fail measure based on forward collision tests, and has since evolved into a five star rating that includes multiple collision tests and safety feature requirements such as airbags.

Pursuing a five-star rating is entirely voluntary, but it is highly desirable as a sales aid since it can impact purchasing decisions. Mandatory safety requirements for automakers are governed under a separate set of rules called the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations.

Another change to the ratings standards will be more advanced collision testing, with sophisticated dummies that can simulate a wider range of collision types and injuries. The new ratings will also allow half-star increments to serve as a better comparison tool for consumers.

The new system will go into effect in 2019 to allow automakers time to adjust. An NHTSA representative stated that most cars that currently receive a four for five star rating would only qualify for three-and-a-half stars under the new system.

If you have been injured in a car crash due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced New Haven auto accident attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi today for a free consultation.

Call (866) 848-7077 today or fill out our case evaluation form.