How Are Safety Ratings Determined?

Cars that have been labeled with the worst possible ratings have scored very low in tests used to determine the overall safety design of a vehicle. Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., Florida car accident attorney represents clients who have been injured in an automobile accident, no matter what type of vehicle they currently drive.

Safety Rating Factors

Factors that when combined, determine the safety rating of a motor vehicle include the following criteria:

  • Overall safety
  • Crash protection
  • Emergency handling
  • Braking system performance
  • Accident avoidance
  • Acceleration
  • Visibility
  • Driving position
  • Seat comfort

Other major factors in safety ratings include any recalls established for specific vehicles. Recall safety issues such as gas tanks susceptible to explosion, faulty stock tires and high profile causing susceptibility to roll-overs all factor into the overall safety ratings, or worst safety ratings of vehicles currently on the American market. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a branch of the United States Department of Transportation, establishes safety laws relating to motor vehicles. It is in your best interests to trust these government ratings when it comes to determining whether or not to buy a vehicle.

Vehicles with Lower Safety Ratings

Some of the most desired vehicles on the market today received very low marks when it comes to passenger safety. SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) are all the rage these days, but they are more susceptible than many other vehicles to rollover accidents due to their high profile. Many vans are equally susceptible to rollovers, as are some pick-up trucks. Mid-sized vehicles have their individual characteristics that either rate them higher or lower in the overall ratings.

Smaller economy cars offer great gas mileage, lower payments and an economical answer to most household incomes. However, they differ in the design of the passenger cage, which in turn affects the protection of the passengers. Some are designed with a hood that literally folds in an accordion manner when hit in a frontal-impact accident, but the engine is forced back into the space designed for the passengers. Other compact cars have a passenger cage with a frame designed to collapse on impact, while successfully protecting the passengers from serious injury.

It is important for any driver who is about to purchase a vehicle to pay close attention to the vehicle’s safety features and ratings. Your life or the life of someone you love could depend on it. To learn more about your rights and responsibilities as a motor vehicle operator, please contact Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D., a Florida auto accident attorney.