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Picking out a new car can be a daunting task, there are a lot of things to consider. However, it seems that the features that most people concentrate on are the fun ones; things like horsepower, infotainment systems and interior details. As interesting as those details are, it’s important to never forget about how safe the vehicle might be. While no one is expecting to wind up in an accident, knowing what your vehicle can handle will put your mind at ease while behind the wheel.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
There are two groups dedicated to testing vehicles and setting standards. The first is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, an agency that’s part of the Department of Transportation. The NHTSA determines how well passengers are protected during a crash through a series of safety tests. Reedman-Toll Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram (Langhorne, PA) says that the NHTSA tests new vehicles each year and assigns them a rating on a five-star scale to make it easier to compare crash performance among different model vehicles. These tests include side, frontal, and rollover crashes, those three types being the majority that happen on American roads.|

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The second group is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS. This independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization is dedicated to reducing damage, injuries, deaths, and other losses from car crashes. The IIHS focuses their research on environmental factors, vehicle factors, and the human factors.

The IIHS evaluates a vehicle’s crashworthiness, how well occupants are protected by the vehicle, and what technology can do to lessen or prevent a crash. The IIHS puts vehicles through six tests including head restraints, side and roof strength, moderate overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, and driver-side small overlap front, then rate vehicles as poor, marginal, acceptable as good depending on their performance.

Consider Both
When considering a new vehicle it would be a good idea to look it up on both the NHTSA and IIHS websites. The more stars it’s been rated on the NHTSA website the better, while the same can be said of vehicles that rate good or at least acceptable with the IIHS. While it may seem complicated with two groups, two different systems, and a variety of different test names being used, generally it comes down to the rating just looking better or sounding better. Good obviously sounds better than poor or marginal and five stars are always going to look better than one.

In Summary
The important thing is to keep both ratings in mind when considering a new vehicle. You wouldn’t want your loved ones protected by something that had been rated poorly, would you? Of course not. So for your next vehicle just take a few moments to look up its rating, you’ll be all the more comforted and all the safer for knowing.

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