An estimated 43 million Americans are expected to travel a distance of at least 50 miles or more during Memorial Day weekend. With so many drivers hitting the road, car accidents are expected to increase. Auto analysts estimate that drivers in West Virginia and across the United States who are traveling in top-rated cars may not be as safe as they believe.
The National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration developed a five-star rating system that rates cars on safety features. Many drivers rely on this rating when choosing a vehicle. Though the NHTSA rating encompasses many laboratory tests, it does not measure vehicle safety when a smaller vehicle collides head-on with a larger vehicle. That’s why many people are unaware that their vehicles could be especially unsafe in head-on accident situations.
Since 1970, the NHTSA has collected data on every fatal vehicle crash in the United States. Until 2018, this data wasn’t available to the public. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System data is now accessible via Auto Grades. This service allows consumers to see a letter grade from A to F for a specific make, model and year of a vehicle based on real data rather than lab tests. Analysts who compiled the data hope that consumers will use it to be more informed when purchasing a vehicle.
Traveling often means long hours on the road, which may lead to drowsy driving and an increased risk of car accidents. Drivers have the responsibility to ensure that they are capable of safe operation before getting behind the wheel. If a negligent driver causes an accident, a lawyer may be able to help an injured victim collect medical and compensatory damages.