NHTSA & IIHS Pros & Cons

By DJ DeVeau via Medium.com / Updated January 22, 2017

First things first, let’s all agree that this really is an amazing new area in automotive technology.

That in just the last few years we have leaped from back up beepers then cameras and from automatic parking to automatic driving.

We have the privilege of being the first to experience these technologies we humans have designed to make our lives easier and safer.

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Lately it has become apparent that we can not let the automotive manufacturers build whatever they want, without going through proper safety procedures first.

The IIHS was formed in 1959, followed by the NHTSA being established in 1970. These and other safety administrations and advocates are of intention to keep industry in check so we are not victims of any high risks.

The principle is to make sure we are not compromised in our public safety by any commercial product especially any and all consumer safety products.

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The IIHS is about insuring less damage of life and property.

They use a Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor rating system with a colored graph for Crash Avoidance & Mitgation. They also have a Top Safety Pick+(Plus) and a Top Safety Pick yearly award system.

The NHTSA is about ensuring components meet safety requirements.

They use a Five Star Rating System that lets you compare Overall, Front, Side, and Rollover (Electronic Stability Control pre-2014) or Rear View Video Systems as of 2014 and newer until 2022 when cameras will be replaced with Automatic Front Braking. They also have a Recommended Technologies category so you can compare Crash Avoidance & Mitigation systems.

Both the NHTSA and the IIHS testing is based on performance at speed tested but neither use speed results in their ratings system because the speeds are fixed per test.

Though the IIHS is more aggressive than the NHTSA with inching up testing speeds they both are only going so fast as to make sure the majority of vehicles will pass all these tests from over 10mph to under 40mph presently.

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Next things next, let’s all agree that all these automotive technologies are meant to perform a function at a tested speed.

The NHTSA ratings stickers are required by government regulators but because the NHTSA can not possibly test every model they use the IIHS ratings sticker as a substitute making it impossible to compare vehicle safety.

Together they could make up the best automotive collision testing organizations on this planet if they used the same ratings system.

A ratings system that is inclusive of any and all types of Collision Protection and Collision Avoidance Technologies all at once, not one at a time.

A ratings system that is not based on fixed speeds for the majority to pass.

A ratings system based on speed tested with results at speed passed.

A ratings system based on passing increasing testing speeds.

A ratings system that goes from under 15mph to over 105mph.

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Of course the IIHS will still be encouraged to give out their Safety Pick of the year awards for overall advancements in technologies and will make even more sense when these technologies are based on increasing safety by passing increased collision testing speeds.

Though up to your own perspective, we all have to agree the pros far outweigh the cons of consumer safety regulations.

I know regulators and consumers agree that consumer safety is driven by the consumer and the clearer consumer information is the safer we become.

10 Star Safety Ratings System & Sticker at http://www.devco-deveau.com/garage/projects/asf/asf_regulators_10-star-system.htm

(Revision January 22, 2017: Added Pedestrian Ratings On Sticker)