Safety crash tests are always important to consider when you shop for a car. Here’s a brief look at the difference between the government’s National Highway Transportation Safety Administration crash tests and those conducted by the Insurance Insitute of Highway Safety.
Both NHTSA and the IIHS conduct various tests to determine vehicle crashworthiness. But they use different methodology and scoring systems.
- NHTSA uses a 5-Star Rating System. It scores models over three safety areas: front impact, side impact, and rollover resistance.
- IIHS rates vehicles on four levels: Good, Acceptable, Marginal or Poor. Its current tests include evaluating headlights and automatic braking systems.
We recommend first taking a look at the NHTSA ratings. NHTSA exists as purely a government agency focused on saving lives.
Then check out the IIHS. The non-profit group is sponsored by the insurance industry. While it does some good work as well, one of its goals is to reduce insurance claim costs. That said, the IIHS results are also worth a look.