Consumers now have access to more crash testing information than ever before. Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conduct comprehensive crash testing programs
NHTSA has been conducting head-on crash tests since 1978 and starting with 1997 models, has added side impact crash tests. The frontal crash test is performed by crashing the test vehicle into a stationary rigid barrier at 35 mph while the side impact test is performed by crashing 3,015 pound deformable barrier into the side of the stationary vehicle at a speed of 38.5 mph. NHTSA rates the crashworthiness of vehicles with a "star rating" system.
NHTSA also includes Theft Ratings compiled from statistics provided by the FBI and vehicle manufacturers.
Since 1995 the IIHS has been conducting high speed, 40 mph frontal offset crash tests, where 40% of the total width of the vehicle strikes a deformable barrier on the driver's side simulating the front of another vehicle. The IIHS also performs four low speed 5 mph damage assessment crashes into a barrier and a fixed pole to test the protection of bumpers.
The IIHS also compiles Injury, Collision, and Theft Summaries and Driver Death Rates for various makes and models.