NHTSA Looking to Expand Crash Safety Testing Procedures

By Jacob Brown | January 22, 2013
In a rare informal comment from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official David Strickland, the government agency said it's looking into making crash safety standards even more stringent, mirroring the nonprofit Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's new small front overlap test. In an interview with Automotive News, Strickland said that the organization was looking at the overlap test to make it tougher for automakers to earn a five-star safety rating. He said the NHTSA was in the research phase for how to conduct its test, and automakers are already starting to adjust how they build their cars to comply to a small front overlap test. Compared to current tests, the small front overlap procedure puts more force on a smaller area of the front bumper, creating a more forceful impact on the passenger space. The IIHS instated its small front overlap test back in August 2012, with many automakers passing with flying colors already. However, it was noted that both the current Toyota Camry and Prius V wagon fared poorly, surprising since most of their rivals did much better.
In his interview, Strickland also touched on autonomous cars, connected driving and infotainment systems, and how well the auto industry was confronting distracted driving--very well, according to Strickland. Do you think making crash test standards even tougher is a good idea? Or are cars already safe enough, and making money on them is a tough enough business that automakers should be left alone? Let us know in the comments section below. Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)