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Factoring Crash Test Ratings

As a personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman in South Texas, it is my job to help clients who have been injured. A large number of these injuries are motor vehicle accident related and it is my duty to investigate these collisions and evaluate my client’s cases. These cases involve tremendous damage to the vehicles causing severe injuries to the passengers inside. Whether it be someone texting and driving or an intoxicated individual behind the wheel, accidents are bound to happen. For this reason, it is important to consider crash test ratings when purchasing a vehicle.

Today’s vehicles are much better equipped to handle collisions than in years past. Modern vehicles are designed to absorb the impact and disperse the energy of the collision. While it is true that the modern design is much safer for passengers than previous vehicles, a prudent consumer should still consider crash test ratings before signing at the dealership.

There are two groups that evaluate vehicles for safety. The largest group is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or the NHTSA, a federal government organization. The other group is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS. Both organizations are trusted to evaluate motor vehicles for safety. Although each group has different ways to test vehicles for safety, both organizations do a thorough inspection of how well a vehicle holds up in the event of a crash.

The IIHS system uses labels to designate a vehicle’s performance in a crash. These labels are: Poor, Marginal, Acceptable, and Good. Vehicles that perform well during the crash tests are given the award of Top Safety Pick. This award is given to vehicles who performed above average in their class. The ultimate safety award under the IIHS system is the Top Safety Pick+. The NHTSA has a more straight forward rating system. They use stars to indicate the vehicle’s performance in the event of a crash. One star being the worst and five stars to designate outstanding.

Whether purchasing a vehicle for yourself or a loved one, considering the crash test rating is very important. A vehicle that performs well in both rating systems would be ideal. When it comes to buying a new car, safety is often overlooked. Most consumers are more interested in what gadgets and features the vehicle has. They are often focused on the price and what deal they can get on the car. It’s important to do your homework before car shopping. This is not a time to become distracted. Keep in mind the road can be very dangerous. Accidents happen every day and people can be seriously injured. Factoring crash test results should be a must for everyone when purchasing their new vehicle.