Car Safety Ratings

Car safety ratings were established to guide car buyers in the selection of safe cars because it is a general truth that safer cars save lives. Road crashes have been causing high death rates and serious injuries. This  could have prevented if car owners bought or chose a safer and reliable car. Buying a safe car is considered one of the most significant decisions you have to make in your life especially if the usual passengers of your vehicle are your family members.

Car safety ratings have been established in most cities in the world to provide car buyers with a guide in selecting the safest cars available in the market. Extensive research has been made before car safety ratings are finalized.

Organizations rate car safety

Car testing organizations in various countries are providing car safety ratings to new vehicles before they are finally manufactured for commercial gains. These ratings are according to the results of crash tests of newly manufactured cars including mini to heavy passenger cars, SUVs, trucks and vans.

Countries with safety rating organizations are:

  • Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP)
  • European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP)
  • Latin New Car Assessment Programme (Latin NCAP)
  • United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

READ 2015 Honda Odyssey Earns Five-Star Safety Rating From Federal Government

However, any car safety rating can only provide data only as an indication of the expected protection levels of the vehicles during a crash. It must be considered that the serious injuries or deaths that occur during a crash may also be due to reckless or irresponsible driving of the vehicle driver.

New car safety ratings

New car safety ratings are determined and established using crash testing vehicles which represent the car brand. A driver or passenger dummies are wired to rating devices. Testing vehicles is done in a testing facility or in a controlled laboratory setting.

This is different from used car ratings although both kinds of safety ratings are correlated. Both kinds of safety ratings are correlated.

Used car safety ratings

Used car safety ratings are based on police records or vehicle crash reports including accurate data about driver injury, hospitalization and death as well as the model of the car involved in the crash.

The number of vehicles involved in the crash, the ages and sex of the drivers, the crash site, speed zone, date of incident are also recorded.

A mathematical logistic model is used to relate the injury risk and injury severity with the existing factors influencing the outcome.

Aggressivity ratings are also calculated after precise comparison of the vehicles or passenger cars involved in the crash or crashes.

Child restraint as an important element in car safety ratings

Child restraints used in vehicles to secure your child in the vehicle are also rated and are important part of car safety ratings.

The selection of the most suitable child car restraint is also not easy. However, there have been existing institutions that can help you to examine restraints in three different classes which include

  • the forward facing restraints for a young child
  • rearward facing restraints for an infant
  • booster seats for older children.

The restraints are rated between one to five based on the level of protection the restraints provide, as well as how easily they can be used to protect a child passenger.