Denlea & Carton


January 31, 2022

When Buying A Vehicle, Safety First!

Finding a Vehicle With a High Safety Rating

If you are in the market to purchase a vehicle, one of the things to look for is a vehicle with a high safety rating. Fortunately, we have two major rating companies to help with that aspect of the search.

The first of the two companies is the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is a federal government agency tasked with enforcing “vehicle performance standards and partnerships with state and local governments to reduce deaths, injuries, and economic losses from motor vehicle crashes.”

The second company is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). IIHS is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to “reducing deaths, injuries, and property damage from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation and through education of consumers, policymakers and safety professionals.”

What are the Testing Methods?

Both organizations mentioned above have a very similar goal – to make our driving experience as safe as possible.However, their testing methods have slight differences.

Both NHTSA and IIHS test anonymously purchased vehicles from new car dealerships. Their crash-test programs have expanded and been refined over many decades, creating higher standards for automakers to meet when building the safest vehicles possible.

Each organization performs a similar frontal-impact test, an overlap frontal-impact test, which replicates a head-on collision, a side-impact crash test, and rollover protection testing. IIHS goes the extra mile and assesses the effectiveness of the various front-crash prevention systems, including collision warning and mitigation braking systems. It also rates a vehicle’s ability to prevent neck and back injury in a rear-impact collision.

In Conclusion

When shopping for a new vehicle, in addition to price and fuel economy, high crash test scores are essential. If your selection has a 5-star rating from the NHTSA and a “Top Safety Pick” from IIHS, you can be assured of driving a safe vehicle.


James R. Denlea

Jeffrey I. Carton

Robert J. Berg

Lindsey Leibowitz

Amber Wallace

John Leifert

Craig Cepler

Steven Schoenfeld

Stan Sharovskiy

Phil Smith

Martin McCann

Catherine Friesen

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