In the last blog your Mazda Dealer near Sand Springs started comparing the NHTSA and the IIHS and their respective frontal crash tests. We explained how even though they test the same portion of the car, they give us unique information about the safety of the car. As a result, both of the organizations feel that their frontal tests are complements to each other, not competitive in nature. Even the chief of the NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program, Nathaniel Beuse says that consumers should used the results from both tests, “together to assess overall frontal crash test safety in terms of the effectiveness of restraint systems and the integrity of the occupant compartment.”
It is important to remember that the tests can only be used to get an idea of how the vehicle would perform either in a collision with a vehicle of similar size and weight or in a single vehicle collision, which would result in essentially the same forces as a collision with a same or similar sized vehicle. These tests really should not be used to assess how a vehicle would fare if it were to collide with a vehicle that is significantly different in size. You might think that the majority of crashes are with other vehicles, but a fair number of the most severe crashes are actually single vehicle crashes, which makes the results of the testing more relevant than you might think. According to NHTSA stats about half of the fatalities in 2003 were from single-vehicle collisions.
While frontal impact testing is obviously important to knowing the full safety of a vehicle, but both the NHTSA and IIHS test much more than just the front of the vehicle. In the next few blogs we will be covering side-impact, rollover testing, and low-speed bumper testing. Keep checking back for this information!