Important Differences Between NHTSA and IIHS Crash Tests

Differences Between NHTSA and IIHS Crash Tests

Thanks to both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), we can rest assured that the vehicles we buy and drive are safe. Today’s vehicles are held to a certain safety standard, and through these organizations’ crash test scores, we can be informed on just how safe our cars are in certain situations.

Because both the NHTSA and IIHS offer similar crash testing and scoring, it can be confusing to understand the difference between the two. Here, we’ve outlined the significant differences between NHTSA and IIHS crash tests.

The largest (and most important) difference is that NHTSA is a federal government organization, while IIHS is a nonprofit group funded by insurance companies. The next obvious difference is the method in which each organization rates each car’s performance. The NHTSA uses one through five stars to convey its ratings, while IIHS uses “Poor,” “Marginal,”  “Acceptable,” and “Good.”

Both organizations offer incredibly thorough and in-depth testing. Since some tests offer a different focus, so it’s important to review all of both the IIHS and NHTSA crash test scores for any vehicles you are considering purchasing.

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