No one wants to be involved in a car accident, but many of us don’t foresee how all of the ways that our choices and behavior could contribute or detract from the likelihood of being in a crash. One significant way to help prevent accidents is choosing a vehicle with a good car safety rating.

Not everyone has the luxury to buy a brand new, top-of-the-line car, but we can all take the safety ratings of our options into account when making a vehicle purchase. Today, your Houston car accident attorneys at Lapeze & Johns, PLLC, will highlight the importance of car safety ratings for reducing the chances that you or your loved ones get hurt in an accident.

Factors That Determine a Vehicle’s Car Safety Rating

Both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) publish safety ratings for vehicles based on a battery of tests. While some of these tests may vary based on the model year of the vehicle being tested, you can get an idea of the kinds of factors these ratings take into account:

1.Crash Tests

Both the IIHS and the NHTSA conduct crash tests on the front and sides of all vehicles that they rate. These tests and the data they provide are the primary factors in both organizations’ rating systems. NHTSA tests on models year 2011 and newer are more stringent, and the IIHS added a second front-end test in 2012, which they applied retroactively to ten years worth of those models tested.

2.Rollover Resistance

The rollover resistance test is done only by the NHTSA and is meant to gauge how likely a vehicle is to roll in the case of an accident. This is based on how top-heavy the vehicle is and serves as a practical test of sharp maneuvers. These ratings are especially important for SUVs and pickups that tend to have a greater chance of rolling.

3.Rear Impact Protection

The IIHS conducts a test to determine how effective car safety measures are at protecting drivers and occupants from injury during a rear-end collision. This test specifically monitors how well seat and head restraints protect against whiplash.

4.Roof Strength

The IIHS roof strength test is another test that looks at a vehicle’s rollover capacity. While the rollover test itself determines how likely a roll is to happen, the roof strength test determines how much crush damage will be sustained if a roll does occur.

It is worth noting that the IIHS and NHTSA both provide useful information about a vehicle’s safety performance, but both conduct different sorts of tests. While the goals of both systems are the same, it may be in your best interest to look at both ratings in order to have a complete picture of your potential purchase’s overall safety.

Why Car Safety Ratings Matter

While some of the tests performed by these organizations are meant to determine the likelihood of a vehicle getting in an accident, the primary takeaway is how much danger passengers will be in in the case that accident does take place. In certain ways, this metric may be more important given the fact that a fair portion of car crash victims are involved in accidents that weren’t their fault.

With this in mind, selecting a vehicle with a promising car safety rating could lessen the chances of you or your passengers being severely injured in a car accident.

Your Dedicated Houston Car Accident Attorneys Here To Help

From buying safer vehicles to staying alert while on the road, there are plenty of things that we as drivers can do to make car accidents less probable. Unfortunately, accidents can still happen even to those who are doing everything right.

No one can predict when a car accident might happen to them, but the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns, PLLC, will be here to help. Our compassionate team would be proud to represent you in insurance negotiations or a court of law.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Texas, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns to learn about your options.

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About Christopher Johns

johnsChristopher Johns co-founded Lapeze & Johns with one thing in mind: civil justice for victims of negligence. Mr. Johns is an experienced trial lawyer who has tried over 50 cases to verdict and judgment throughout Texas, the Gulf Coast, and around the United States with a 98% success rate. His efforts throughout his time at the University of Houston Law Center and as a lawyer have garnered him many accolades, a 10.0 rating from AVVO, and Super Lawyer in Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation every year since 2004. Read more about Christopher Johns here.