Blindspot warning signal in rearview mirror.

Federal Crash Tests Fail to Change with Technology

One of the top factors that people consider when purchasing a vehicle is its safety. Many people look to government crash tests in order to determine just how well our car will protect us from harm. However, while federal crash tests and their five-star rating systems have been in use for almost 50 years, they have failed to change in order to account for newer safety technology.

The crash tests were implemented through the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) by the federal government after millions of injuries and fatalities continued to occur annually. Although the safety tests take into account basic safety features such as airbags and seatbelts, newer features such as emergency brake systems and blind-spot detectors have not been considered when rating each vehicle. 

In response to the lack of change with these tests, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published its own tests of the same kind, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and others safety advocates continue to evaluate the features. 

Vehicles Made to Pass Federal Crash Tests

Over time automakers have learned what it takes to pass these tests and receive 4- and 5-star ratings. It is because of this that they began to make vehicles that could manipulate the program. These vehicles are made to pass the test’s requirements but are not necessarily designed to protect its occupants in real-life situations on the road. This large number of high ratings among vehicles has prompted Consumer Reports and other safety groups to cast these federal crash tests off as too easy. 

Highway and Auto Safety advocates have called for the federal government to enhance and upgrade three things:

  1. Crash Tests
  2. Pedestrian and bike safety
  3. Crash test dummies

However, one of the biggest requests of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is to upgrade the frontal crash dummy to a newer model called THOR (Test Device for Human Occupancy Restraint), which may soon be ready to put into effect. 

Promising Plans or Empty Promises?

The NHTSA is planning on introducing large upgrades for public comment this year. Although promising, these same promises were made back in 2015, though nothing ever came of them. It is likely the agency’s concern for avoiding legal challenges that have caused it to move at a much slower rate.

Luckily, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the largest U.S. car industry trade group, released a statement that U.S. automakers plan on working with the NHTSA.

The Attorneys at Jones Kahan Law, LLC Can Help Those in Ohio Who Have Been Injured in a Car Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it can greatly impact many parts of your life. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced auto accident attorney

At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys have a long history of dealing with auto accidents and have helped our clients to recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight for what is in your best interest. We don’t charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!