If you’re doing a little research on what the safest used vehicles on the market are, whether you’re looking to buy or not, you’ve likely seen a lot of reference to something called a “safety rating.”
What Is A Safety Rating?
In 1970, the Highways Safety Act founded the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help “reduce deaths, injuries, and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.” However, it wasn’t until 1993 that the 5-Star Safety Ratings system was introduced. This system analyzes vehicular performance when put through various crash test scenarios – focusing specifically on frontal, side, and rollover tests – to help consumers understand how safe different vehicles truly are for their families.
What Is Considered A Good Safety Rating?
Every year new vehicles on the market are tested and given safety ratings – which are essentially just scores between 1 and 5. The safer the vehicle is, the higher its safety rating score will be. In order to earn a top safety rating, of course, vehicles must be able to prove their crashworthiness through extensive testing. A vehicle will start by enduring a direct head on collision, then a side barrier collision, followed by a side pole crash, and finished off with a rollover resistance test to determine overall vehicular and passenger risk. To guarantee testing equality, all vehicle classes are impacted with the same force using the same barriers and equipment to ensure effectual vehicle comparisons – with the exception of frontal crash ratings, which are dependent on vehicle weight.
How Accurate Are Safety Ratings?
Because the rigorous standards and tests of the NHTSA’s safety rating program are adjusted and improved each year with the arrival of newer, safer vehicles, it is possible for a vehicle’s safety rating to change even if no actual changes have been made to the specific model. This is not to say a vehicle suddenly becomes more or less safe, but rather that its current safety rating only represents its comparison the latest official safety standards. For instance, a perfectly good vehicle with a safety rating of 3 might be a better match for your budget and lifestyle than a brand new 5-star vehicle on the lot. It really just all depends on your current situation.
Thinking of purchasing a used car soon? Don’t forget to get more information about what type of used vehicle you should choose, and how it’s safety rating might come into play in your life, by checking out our resources at Suburban Auto Finance today. If you are looking for the best in auto financing, no matter what your current credit situation is, choose Suburban Auto Finance and learn how we can help you get back behind the wheel in no time. At Suburban Auto Finance, we understand everyone deserves the independence of having a reliable vehicle, and our mission is to work as hard as we can to make that happens for you.