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Car Safety Ratings: How Are They Determined and Are They Reliable?

Jul 27, 2018 | By , on Personal Injury.

Car accidents can have serious or even fatal consequences and victims should make certain to consult with a Miami accident attorney for help pursuing a claim for compensation from those who caused a crash and resulting injuries.

While accidents cannot always be prevented when drivers are careless, the risk of an injury or fatality if a crash happens can be reduced by purchasing a safe vehicle. Of course, finding a vehicle that has strong safety features can be challenging – but car safety ratings can be helpful to shoppers in making certain the vehicle they buy has performed strongly when it comes to protecting occupants. 

Motorists shopping for cars should understand how car safety ratings are determined so they can make fully informed choices when it comes to their vehicle purchase.

How are Car Safety Ratings Determined?

Recently, Business Insider provided comprehensive details about how Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates vehicles. IIHS is a nonprofit organization and its car safety ratings are trusted by millions of consumers looking for vehicles that can protect their families.

IIHS conducts tests of the most popular vehicles on the market and it grades those vehicles based on four key criteria. These criteria include how a dummy fares in a crash test, the amount of survival space in a vehicle, and the way in which airbags and seat belts perform.

When crash tests are conducted, cameras and dummies are placed into a car and gasoline is replaced with a less volatile but similar substance. Targets and tape prepare the vehicle and a crash is simulated. IIHS actually uses multiple different crash tests for each of the vehicles that it tests in order to see how the car performs under different circumstances, including front and side impact crashes as well as a rear impact collision.

The dummy in the vehicle is equipped with sensors in order to assess the impact that the collision would have on a person’s vital organs. Grease paint is used on the face, hands, and legs of the dummy in order to make a determination regarding whether any of these body parts would come into contact with hard surfaces in the vehicle in the event that a crash occurs. 

The survival space of the vehicle, which is the space in the occupant compartment, is also measured because the more survival space there is the safer occupants are and the more likely it is that air bags and seat belts will work to provide protection. And, airbags are tested to see how fast they deploy while seat belts are assessed to determine if they keep vehicle occupants safely in place when a collision happens.

IIHS uses all of this information to assign a rating to a vehicle so motorists can better determine how safe the car is. Unfortunately, no matter how safe your vehicle, if a careless driver causes a crash to occur, you could still be hurt or your loved one could lose his or her life due to the accident. If a crash happens and you or someone in your family was harmed, contact a Miami accident attorney for help pursuing a claim for compensation.

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