The amount of damage done in a car accident can depend on many factors. One significant factor is the safety of the vehicle itself. Safety features not only prevent serious injury or death if a car accident takes place, but in some cases, they can prevent accidents altogether through technologies such as rear-view cameras and blind-spot detectors. In an effort to improve vehicle safety in the United States, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHSTA) has proposed certain updates to its current 5-Star Safety ratings program. The updates may have implications for drivers and car manufacturers in California and throughout the United States.
The 5-Star Safety Rating program, also known as the NCAP or New Car Assessment Program, is a rating system designed to ensure vehicles being newly released on the market meet certain safety criteria. The proposed changes include:
- Making specific recommendations for new driver assistance technologies (blind spot detection and intervention, lane-keeping support, automatic pedestrian emergency breaking)
- Making testing procedures stronger
- Increasing performance criteria for currently recommended driver assistance technologies
- Looking into a crash avoidance rating window sticker for new and used vehicles
- Reviewing vehicle technologies that may prevent distracted driving, such as alcohol detection driver monitoring systems and seat belt interlocks
The recommendations reflect growing concerns about the rate of injury and death on roadways across the United States. Many consumers depend on the 5-Star Safety Rating system when purchasing a vehicle, using it to gauge the relative safety of the automobile they choose to drive. With these recommendations, the NHSTA hopes to make the rating system more useful for consumers, ultimately helping to prevent deaths and injuries due to car accidents. Despite these efforts, many people in California and throughout the US have their lives forever altered by car accidents and may need to seek compensation for the costs related to their injuries. In these cases where victims suffered through no fault of their own, a personal injury lawyer can be a helpful entity to speak to regarding potential options.