September 24th, 2012 - by DKRPA
One of the greatest influences on the reduction in national car accident rate is the vast improvement of car safety equipment in past two decades. The frame of the vehicle; safety systems that aid the driver; and improved equipment — from better tires to more responsive brake systems — have dropped the U.S. accident rate to record lows.
Though these things are unlikely to completely remove the “human error” element of driving (barring the wide release of self-driving cars), the improvements are great achievements that will only continue and become more innovative.
Along these lines, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced that 54 vehicles will take part in a round of crash tests to determine each model’s overall quality and safety. The NHTSA says that with the participating vehicles, nearly 85 percent of new cars available in the U.S. market in 2013 will have a rating based on this test.
New crash tests were recently performed to test “overlap” accidents, and how well luxury vehicles handle collisions that involve a car being struck in the corner of the frame — the area around the headlights. This area usually lacks safety equipment as relatively weak should it be struck by another car. One of the biggest reactions to these tests, though, was how poorly the vehicles performed, causing some public concerns.
This is an important element to crash test — their influence on how some vehicles are perceived. The NHTSA tests on the 2013 models could make or break the commercial success of those vehicles; but most importantly, it will provide customers with the information they need to make an informed decision regarding the safety of a vehicle they are considering purchasing.
Source: New York Times, “N.H.T.S.A. Releases Crash-Test List for 2013,” Cheryl Jensen, Sept. 13, 2012