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NHTSA Proposes Significant Updates to Five-Star Safety Ratings Program

Public invited to comment on proposed improvements, including new recommended vehicle safety features, consumer resources

| Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed significant safety updates to its flagship 5-Star Safety Ratings program. These improvements are part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to improve safety on our nation’s roads and will help fulfill requirements included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

NHTSA is proposing the following updates to its 5-Star Safety Ratings program, also known as the New Car Assessment Program, or NCAP:

  • Recommending four new driver-assistance technologies: lane-keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and blind spot intervention.
  • Strengthening the current testing procedures and performance criteria for the driver-assistance technologies already included in NCAP.
  • Establishing a 10-year roadmap for future NCAP updates.
  • Requesting comment on ways to develop a meaningful ratings system for driver-assistance technologies.
  • Considering the potential addition of emerging vehicle technologies related to driver distraction, alcohol detection, seat belt interlocks, intelligent speed assist, driver monitoring systems and rear seat child reminder assist.
  • Discussing ways to provide a crash avoidance rating on the window sticker (Monroney label) on new and used vehicles.

"There’s a crisis on America’s roadways: 3,000 people die every month, and the numbers have only gotten worse in recent years,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These important changes will help save lives on our roadways by ensuring that consumers have the information they need about the latest safety technologies when they buy a new vehicle.” 

“NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings system helps consumers learn more about the safety of new and used vehicles and select the one that’s right for them. The proposed improvements will not only make the program more useful and informative but also keep up with the pace of innovation in vehicle safety,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator. “For the first time ever, NCAP includes technology recommendations not only for drivers and passengers but for road users outside the vehicle, like pedestrians. The proposal also seeks comment and a novel approach to tie technological change to reducing driver behaviors that contribute to many crashes, injuries and fatalities. We look forward to reviewing the comments we receive and considering them as we complete this important work.” 

In January 2022, the U.S. DOT released the federal government’s comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, a roadmap to address the national crisis in motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries. NHTSA’s 5-Star Safety Ratings program is a key component of the Department’s National Roadway Safety Strategy and its work to reduce road fatalities. The strategy adopts the safe system approach, which builds in multiple layers of protection through safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. 

NCAP, the government’s premier consumer information program for evaluating vehicle safety, tests vehicle performance in various crash scenarios and provides an objective rating on a five-star scale to inform consumers of a vehicle’s safety performance. For more on the program, please see

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed updates. Read the full proposal.

NHTSA 202-366-9550