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Vehicle Safety Ratings

5-Star Safety Ratings Program Timeline

1970

The Highway Safety Act established NHTSA and outlined its mission to reduce deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes.

1978

Began testing and rating vehicles for frontal impact protection using data from crash test dummies. 

1993

Began using the 5-Star Safety Ratings system to help consumers make informed safety choices when buying new vehicles.

1996

Began testing and rating vehicles for side crash protection.

2000

Began testing vehicles for resistance to rollover crashes, which are more dangerous than other types of crashes.

 2003

Rollover tests are updated to better simulate real-world rollover crashes.

 2004

Launched SaferCar.gov (now NHTSA.gov) so consumers can search for 5-Star Safety Ratings and find other important highway safety information in one place.

 2006

Required that window labels on new vehicles include 5-Star Safety Ratings information.

 2010

Enhanced 5-Star Safety Ratings to include an Overall Vehicle Score and a listing of advanced recommended safety technologies.

 2013

Added rear-view video systems to the list of recommended technologies to help prevent backover incidents. This feature will be standard in all vehicles by 2018.

 2015

Announced plans to update its 5-Star Safety Ratings program and encourage automakers to produce cars with better crash protection and new crash avoidance technologies to save more lives and reduce passenger and pedestrian injuries.

 2016

Added automatic emergency braking systems to the list of recommended technologies to help prevent or reduce the impact speed of rear-end crashes starting with model year 2018 vehicles. Automakers committed to making it standard in all vehicles by 2022.

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