US: NHTSA to propose important changes to vehicle crash ratings image

According to Reuters, the US auto safety regulators will bring some major changes to crash safety tests that will force the carmakers to add multiple avoidance systems if they want 5 stars for their new cars.

The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last month that beginning with model year 2018, the agency will update its 5-Star Rating System to include automatic emergency braking as a recommended safety technology, a system that has the potential to prevent rear-end crashes or reduce the impact speed of those crashes by automatically applying the brakes. But it seems the NHTSA is already considering to raise the safety bar again by proposing three new ratings for cars and trucks on pedestrian safety, crash worthiness and crash avoidance under its New Car Assessment Program, according to the document, which was reviewed by Reuters. This means that the automakers will have to add to their cars systems like forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, lower beam head lighting, semi-automatic headlamp beam switching, amber rear turn signals, rear automatic braking and pedestrian automatic emergency braking.

Therefore, for top scores on tests, the automakers will be required to offer such technologies as standard equipment on all vehicles, pushing up the price of new cars. The new ratings are scheduled to take effect in the 2019 model year. NHTSA would add a new frontal crash test, new pedestrian crashworthiness testing and add two new advanced crash test dummies in testing that would detect additional injuries. The scores from the three new ratings would be a factor in determining vehicles’ overall one-to-five-star crash ratings. Automakers would receive partial credit for advanced technologies that are not standard on all versions of individual vehicles.

Via Reuters