New Rating System to Decrease Risks of Injury during Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), its 5-star safety rating system will soon have tested virtually every new make and model car on the road.

The administration began new testing last year that uses a 5-star rating system and a combined rating that reflects the overall results of a trio of safety tests. The ratings help tell how well a vehicle would protect an occupant in the event of a car accident in Chicago and elsewhere. The new rating system also looks at available crash avoidance technologies.The test ratings will be conducted 80 percent of the new 2012 model vehicles that are expected to hit U.S. roadways. Our Chicago car accident attorneys encourage consumers to pay attention to rollover risks of vehicles as well. This test is a new portion of the program and will be testing more than 90 percent of all new model vehicles.

There were 74 new model vehicles that will be put through the new, rigorous testing. The test will examine the safety features of about 42 passenger cars, more than 20 sport utility vehicles, two vans and nearly 10 pickup trucks. The new tests will also calculate a single safety rating for each vehicle which will allow consumers to narrow their search by considering the one overall score before looking into individual ratings.

Some testing has already begun. The NHTSA has already tested vehicles that have carry-over designs from the 2011 to the 2012 models. These ratings are already available to you online at

“Our 5-star ratings program is a critical resource to help consumers make the best possible decisions about the cars they want to buy,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

LaHood says that this program is so important because it helps set the bar for vehicle manufacturers. Consumers should remember “More Stars — Safer Cars!”

In addition to the new overall rating, the NHTSA will also be adding “crash avoidance” to its safe car checklist. For the new model vehicles, about 68 come equipped with this technology. The technology is available as a lane departure warning (LDW) or a forward collision warning (FCW) or as both in one. Last year there were less than 50 vehicles that had this technology. Now that the NHTSA is including it in its inspection, nearly 70 vehicles come equipped. More specifically, a dozen have the LDW, nearly 20 come with the FCW and about 40 vehicles have both.

Consumers have been using the 5-star rating system for more than 30 years now. This rating has a big effect on how well a vehicle is going to sell. As the program continues to strengthen its requirements and its rating standards, vehicle designers will have to come to the table with even more features to help avoid a car accident and to keep vehicle occupants safe in the event of one.

Drivers are urged to pay attention to these types of ratings as the vehicle you drive can mean the difference between life and death in the event of an accident. Residents are urged to check out the same website to learn about recent recalls. Even after these safety ratings are completed, a vehicle can hit the recall list because of malfunctioning equipment. Stay on top of your car’s maintenance and your car’s recalls to help ensure the safety of you and your passengers on our roadways.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, the Chicago injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

AAA Studies Teen Driver Risks to help Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 20, 2011

Drive Safely Work Week Aims to Prevent Work-Related Car Accidents in Illinois, Nation, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 7, 2011

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