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NHTSA introduces new 5-star safety rating system aimed at reducing injury in Fort Lauderdale car accidents

For more than 30 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been providing consumers with crash-test performance data that helps vehicle buyers make well-informed safety choices when it comes purchasing a car or truck.

In an ongoing effort to improve the evaluation criteria, the NHTSA has updated its five-star safety rating system to include today’s technological safety enhancements. Newer technologies and newer standards ultimately mean better protection for occupants in the event of a Fort Lauderdale car accident, but they also change the ratings for many previously rated vehicles.

Newer evaluations include a front end and side-pole crash test series that measures how the vehicle protects the head, neck, chest and legs of occupants involved in a either a head-on crash or one where the car or truck strikes a tree or utility pole from the side. The NHTSA has also upgraded their crash-test dummies to include a smaller-sized adult female and a medium-sized adult male.

Also included is a review of rollover- and crash-resistance technologies, such as, electronic stability control (ESC), and forward collision and lane departure warnings. Each are “smart” technologies that evaluate driving, road and traffic conditions in real-time and either alert the driver through dashboard and sound signaling or execute mechanical actions to correct for driver error.

With ESC, for example, if a driver heads into a turn at a dangerous speed or hits a slippery patch of road and begins to spin out of control, sensors will signal a braking mechanism to compensate for under- or over-steering.

The NHTSA has already published findings on more than 30 vehicles and expects to rate and evaluate 55 more in 2011. To date, only the BMW 5-series and Hyundai Sonata have earned five-stars. Formerly a five-star holder, the Toyota Camry dropped to a three-star ranking, and the Nissan Versa holds the sole distinction of a two-star rating.

You can visit the website for new and used car safety ratings.

The Fort Lauderdale car accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing car accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.

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