LEAF and Volt both achieve top safety ratings
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Nissan LEAF and Chevrolet Volt are both among the safest vehicles on the road. Both vehicles received the best safety rating of Good in all categories evaluated – Frontal offset crash test, side impact crash test and roof strength standards. Here are links to the results for each vehicle:
While these tests do not determine the “Star” rating seen on a new car window sticker (those tests are performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they are a very good indication of overall vehicle safety. We have known for some time that the IIHS tests are more rigorous than those of NHTSA. As a result, the NHTSA tests have steadily been getting more rigorous as well. In fact, this year the NHTSA will apply new safety standards to 55 2011 model year vehicles. Also, for the first time, there will be a single overall safety score in addition to the front and side impact safety standards of the past.
While manufacturers have complained of these increasingly stringent crash tests, they have made all of our vehicles safer. In 1995 when frontal offset crash tests began at IIHS more were rated poor than good. Today most have good ratings. Similar trends have been noted in the side impact and rear crash ratings also. NHTSA has not yet rated LEAF or Volt.