NHTSA sets sights high in 2001 demolition derby

News November 21, 2000
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will crash 113 vehicles next year, more than any p

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that it will crash 113 vehicles next year, more than any previous year. The model year 2001 vehicles will be sacrificed as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) for the sake of gathering safety data that may inform consumers’ buying decisions.

Crash tests of 72 passenger cars, 19 sport utility vehicles, 11 vans and 11 pickups will be performed. Sixty-one vehicles will be crashed head-on into a fixed barrier at 35 mph, which simulates a collision between two identical vehicles, each moving at 35 mph.

Fifty-two vehicles will be crashed from the side, simulating a typical intersection collision between two vehicles. In the side-impact tests, a moving, deformable barrier will be angled into the side of the vehicle at 38.5 mph.

Instrumented dummies in the vehicle will register forces and impacts during the crash. NHTSA will use the data to predict frontal head and chest injuries. The NCAP crash test results are reported in a range of one to five stars, with five stars indicating the best crash protection for vehicles within the same weight class. Head and chest data, which indicate the chance of a life-threatening injury, are combined into a single rating, reflecting the vehicle’s relative level of crash protection in a head-on collision. NHTSA cautioned that the crash test results for frontal impact are meaningful only for comparing relative injury risk in frontal collisions between vehicles of similar weight.



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