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NHTSA Considers Two New Crash Tests

Posted: 01/25/2013 - 3:17 PM ET

Slightly more than two years ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) put stricter crash tests into force, and now it's contemplating the addition of two more tests to its already-rigorous battery of safety evaluations.

According to a recent interview with David Strickland, NHTSA administrator, that was conducted by Automotive News, the two safety tests being considered are an oblique test and an overlap test.

The small overlap test is not unlike a recently-introduced procedure used by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). In this test, a corner of a vehicle's front bumper crashes into a barrier. In the oblique test, the barrier is hit at an angle.

Neither of these tests is likely to be included in the NHTSA's regular regimen for at least two years, but if adoption is eventuated, it will be much more difficult for any vehicle to earn the organizations much-lauded five-star top rating. Currently there are several cars, including the Toyota Camry, that are not meeting expectations with regard to the small overlap test already in use at the IIHS.

last time the NHTSA significantly changed its crash test program was in October, 2010, when it announced the inclusion of a side pole crash test, an overall vehicle score, and included measures to promote the development of crash prevention technologies.

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