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Car Safety Analyzed in Advance of Memorial Day Holiday

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May 24, 2019—Millions of Americans will kick off summer road trips this weekend. But an auto safety expert from The Auto Professor says many top-rated cars are not as safe as people think they are

According to the safety expert, the 5-star system used by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) falls short on one important laboratory test. It does not test what happens when a car collides head-on with a larger vehicle, like an SUV.

In contrast to its lab tests, NHTSA has collected data on all fatal crashes in the United States since the 1970s. However, the public had no way to access this Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data until late last year.

That's when Dr. Norma Hubele, a data scientist who has served as an expert witness in more than 100 automobile safety cases, and a team of data scientists transformed millions of FARS data points into a free service they call the Auto Grades. Consumers now can input the make, model and year of their vehicle, and the online tool produces an A through F grade based on real crash data, not lab tests.

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