NHTSA Adds Small Overlap and Oblique Crashes Tests image

The NHTSA Administrator David Strickland announced that the company plans to revise its five-star crash safety program and add new tests for vehicles.

The five-star crash safety program currently relies on the frontal crash test, to determine how well a car’s passengers would fare in a head-on crash. Strickland said NHTSA engineers are now analyzing ‘small overlap’ crashes, when a corner of the front bumper hits an object, and oblique crashes, when the vehicle hits an object at an angle. The ‘small overlap’ test, which is similar with the one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, will replicate the small-overlap crashes in a realistic way. By adding more tests, it will be harder for automakers to earn the five-star rating.

David Strickland said that so far automakers are doing an excellent job on addressing distraction behind the wheel with all the heads-up displays to keep the driver focused on the road. He said that GM’s decision to limit some of Siri’s functions for the Spark and Sonic is a very smart move, as drivers don’t really need to look up the meaning of the word ‘hieroglyphic’ while driving for example.

“It does take some time, but we’re very close on the research phase to actually get that compliance test done,” said Strickland.