What Are Vehicle Safety Ratings All About?

When you are considering a new vehicle for you and your family, you will definitely take a vehicle's safety into consideration. There are two different types of safety ratings that you will usually see when shopping for a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) both rate vehicles.

The NHTSA provides star ratings for cars that they put through their safety tests. If a vehicle gets five stars, that means that it performed very well on safety tests such as frontal crash tests. A one-star rating means the vehicle was poor.

The IIHS rates vehicles as poor, marginal, acceptable and good. Vehicles that perform very well on these tests are certified as a Top Safety Pick. If a vehicle is an exceptional performer on crash tests, it will be awarded the Top Safety Pick+. The IIHS utilizes five tests to come up with its rating.

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