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NHTSA Considers Expanding Crash Testing for New Vehicles

By John Page on January 31, 2013 - Comments off

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) is considering adding new kinds of crash tests to its overall testing of new motor vehicles, including tests in which vehicles hit objects at an angle, according to an article in Tire Business magazine. Adding tests would expand knowledge of a vehicle’s safety, but would also make it more difficult for manufacturers to earn five-star crash ratings for vehicles.

New Tests

NHTSA New Crash TestsThe new tests under consideration include a “small overlap” test, which examines what happens when the corner of the front bumper strikes an object, and an “oblique” test, which examines what happens when a vehicle crashes into an object at an angle. These tests would be added to the NHTSA’s current front-impact, side-impact, and rear-impact crash tests.

The “small overlap” test is likely to be similar to the one already performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), according to the NHTSA. However, the agency is working on creating a test that will meet the agency’s standards for the tests it already uses, including its ability to provide useful data to guide the NHTSA in rating and ranking motor vehicle safety.

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