In an effort to provide consumers with more complete safety information and encourage car manufacturers to design safer cars, the U.S. Department of Transportation has revised its five star rating system.
The changes include reporting an overall safety rating, taking into account an automobile's performance in frontal, side, and rollover tests, instead of just reporting those results separately. A new side poll test will simulate an automobile collision with a tree.
For the first time, female crash test dummies will be tested, to represent women and larger children, and a new test for leg injuries will be implemented.
The updated system will include ratings for new technologies, such as electronic stability control, lane departure warning systems, and forward collision warning systems.
The changes in vehicle testing will be implemented beginning with 2010 model automobiles.
For more information, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration