In October, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced an enhanced 5-Star Safety Ratings System for new vehicles starting with model year 2011.  Government crash testing will now include side pole crash testing and the evaluation of crash prevention-technologies. And, both male and female crash test dummies will be used in simulating crash scenarios.  In the past, all crash test dummies were male.
The government believes that the upgraded Five-Star Safety Ratings System will raise the bar on safety and make safety ratings more meaningful for consumers.
Under the new system, vehicle safety ratings will still range from 1 to 5 stars.   One star is the lowest rating and 5 stars is the highest. Under the old rating criteria, many cars were rated at 5-stars.  Under the new standards, many vehicles previously rated as 5-star vehicles will have a lower rating.
The new ratings evaluate the safety of the following types of vehicles:
• Passenger cars
• SUVs
• Vans
• Pickup trucks
Each vehicle is rated in three broad areas: frontal crash, side crash, and rollover resistance.
In addition, the new ratings will include an Overall Vehicle Score for each vehicle tested. The Overall Vehicle  
Score is calculated by combining the results of the frontal crash test, side crash tests and rollover resistance tests and comparing those results to the average risk of injury and potential for vehicle rollover of other vehicles.
To see the full list of newly-rated vehicles visit the 5-Star Safety Ratings Program website at
A safe car is one way to protect yourself from injury in an Atlanta car crash.  But, safety features can’t prevent all accidents.  Many accidents are caused by driver behavior such as distracted driving, driving under the influence and aggressive driving.
If you have been injured in an Atlanta accident caused by another driver, you have the right to compensation for your injuries and property damage. To learn more, contact The Law Offices of R. Shane Smith at 770-HURT-999 to schedule a free consultation with an Atlanta car crash lawyer.
Get a head start on your Atlanta accident claim; download our free guide, “10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case.”

Shane Smith
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Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia

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