Here at Scott Peterson Motors of Sturgis LLC, we enjoy finding ways to help drivers stay safe on the roads. While there are many passive ways of maintaining vehicle safety, one proactive method of doing so is to investigate prospective vehicles before making purchases. Two important tools that help drivers make better purchasing decisions are known as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) vehicle safety ratings. Drivers who take the time to learn what these ratings mean can avoid purchasing vehicles that perform poorly during accidents.

The IIHS testing organization uses a battery of five separate crash situations to test vehicles out for crashworthiness. This organization rates the results of these tests in four categories, and these include Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor. In addition to these safety ratings, vehicles that perform beyond expectations can earn special Top Safety Pick certifications.

The NHTSA has a different approach to vehicle testing and rating. This organization puts client vehicles through a battery of three separate tests that include front, side, and rollover impacts. NHTSA ratings use a proprietary star scale that runs from a low of 1 to a high of 5. Even though this organization uses only three tests, their star rating system is well respected among many auto experts. All things considered, prospective car owners can get the best results by combining both systems of evaluation.

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