Automotive testing is an important part of determining the safety of a vehicle. You may have seen crash tests where a vehicle crashes into a wall with dummies inside. But automotive testing goes far beyond the crash tests you hear about.

Crash Testing Ratings

crash testing, automotive testingWhen it comes to crash testing, two different sources determine the safety ratings: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Both use different rating criteria as well as different crash test procedures.

NHTSA uses the star system ranging from one to five stars, while the IIHS ranks vehicles as Poor, Marginal, Acceptable or Good. The rankings are determined after the vehicles have undergone crash tests which include frontal collisions of up to 40 miles per hour, side collisions and rollover tests.

Real People Help

Some automakers go the extra mile and open vehicle testing to the general public. Utilizing real consumers often helps determine the feasibility of a car and in what areas the vehicle needs improvement before it’s on the market.

This is especially helpful to automakers when testing electric cars. Nissan had people test drive their all-electric LEAF in 2009 and 2010 in different situations in the real-world. Doing this gave Nissan the ability to calculate accurate numbers for buyers.

Zombie Drivers

Although it’s not as common as it was when cars first became mainstream, crash testers sometimes used cadavers. These cadavers helped researchers know how crashes impacted internal organs, giving them a different perspective of how safe the vehicle was.

Bottom Line

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