Changes made to vehicle 5-star rating system - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Changes made to vehicle 5-star rating system

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's, NHTSA, new 5-star rating system is tougher than ever.

"In order to get a 5-star rating, you have to manufacture a really safe car," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

Among the many changes to the system, the NHTSA is including something that's never been used before: female crash dummies.

"We know that the size and the shape of females is quite different than it is for males," said LaHood.

The agency is also rating how cars perform in side-impact crashes and considering new technology like rear sensors.

"If a car comes close to you on the side, or the rear backup, or if they're too close to a car in the front," LaHood said. "So we've looked at that technology as a way to really measure safety."

The NHSTA is collecting more data on injuries, in particular head injuries, which now factor into the rating.

There is also a new "pole test," which simulates a 20 mile-per-hour crash into a 10-inch pole just behind the driver.

"We're raising the bar on safety," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood.

 

Copyright 2010. NBC. All rights reserved.

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