In an attempt to keep pace with the advancements in technology, and also to better protect older drivers and passengers, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed in a Federal Register posting on Thursday that it is mulling the ways in which vehicle safety ratings can be expanded.
Noting that the safety regulators plan to change the rating system which is in place for the new cars sold in the US, the NHTSA said that it is thinking of creating a "silver" car rating system for the protection that vehicles offer to the older occupants - aged above 65 years - in case of a crash.
In addition, the NHTSA also said that it may also take into account how rear-seat passengers and pedestrians fare in crashes; and intends considering new test procedures for electric vehicles.
Revealing that the "silver" rating system would be in addition to the agency's primary ratings, the NHTSA - which is seeking public input on how it can best update its ratings system - said that the new ratings could give higher scores to vehicles which use inflatable seat belts or technologies which prevent the accidental hitting of the wrong pedal by the drivers.
With the NHTSA noting that "typically, older vehicle occupants are less able than younger occupants to withstand crash forces when they are involved in a crash; the agency's Administrator David Strickland said that automakers will seemingly approve the "silver" car rating system, chiefly because of the purchasing power of the aging baby-boom generation.