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You Car and Automobile Crash Tests Dummies

Find crash test ratings for new cars as well as older vehicles dating back to 1990. Learn how to read the five star safety test results.

Before purchasing a family car, one of the most important considerations is safety. Doing some simple research can let the car owner know which vehicle models have the best safety ratings. This article provided by Arc-rite who offer a professional range of automotive paints, looks at methods to find the needed information on vehicle safety as well as how to read the test results.

NHTSA Automobile Crash Tests 5-Star Rating

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA conducts controlled crash test on new vehicles models known as the New Car Assessment Program. NHTSA allows consumers to research new vehicles as well as older vehicles dating back to 1990. These test typically cover safety ratings for:

frontal driver
frontal passenger
side driver
side rear passenger

Each of the above areas are rated using a 5-star rating, with 5 stars being the highest rating and 1-star being the lowest. Although some vehicles may have a low rating, they must still meet minimum standards established by NHTSA.

Researching Car Crash Test Ratings

To research specific vehicle models dating back to 1990, start by accessing the NHTSA website for crash test results. Once the website is accessed, find the link for “5-Star Safety Ratings” towards the bottom left of the home page. Once this link is accessed, click on the link for new vehicles or older models. Next input the various vehicle information.


Once the specific vehicle is selected, the ratings should appear for specific areas of the vehicle. New model vehicles will generally have more information than older models due to the fact that newer models have more areas that are tested. There will also be more detailed information as the user scrolls down like air bags and safety restraints among other areas.

5-Star Crash Test Safety Ratings on Window Stickers

The NHTSA has mandated that car manufacturers display the 5-star crash test results on the vehicles window. The test results are the same test results that are listed on their website. Some newer models may be on dealerships lots before they are actually tested. Once the vehicle is actually tested, the manufacturer will have 30 days to display the test results on the window sticker.

Besides ensuring a safe vehicle purchase, the car owner should take a proactive approach to vehicle safety. Performing periodic safety inspections is an important proactive approach. If children are passengers, the car owner should learn about child protection features in their vehicle. Choosing the right child car seat is also imperative for maximizing child safety.

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