What is a good safety rating for a car?

I’ve been shopping for a new car for a few weeks. While tech and style are high on my list, I also care about safety ratings. My only issue is that I’m not sure what a good safety rating is on a car. What’s considered a good safety rating?

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Answer provided by
Eric Schad
Answered on Apr 21, 2022
Scrutinizing safety ratings is an important part of any car purchase. However, deciphering the system can be challenging.
Fortunately, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have clearly defined rating systems. A good safety rating for a car is:
  • A four- or five-star safety rating from the NHTSA
  • A Good or Acceptable rating from the IIHS
Many things factor into what safety rating a car earns, but namely, the major criteria are:
  • Rollover crash test
  • Frontal crash test
  • Side crash test
  • Number of advanced safety features
  • Headlight type
  • Roof strength
  • Head restraints and seats
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