You have probably seen vehicle safety ratings advertised on television as the automakers pitch you on their various vehicles. It is important to understand that those ratings have real meaning and that you should pay attention to them.

They are rated on a star system between one and five stars with five being the highest. Vehicles are assigned stars based on their performance in a number of tests including collision tests and rollover tests.

The tests are conducted in a controlled environment where impartial judges can review the performance of various vehicles against standards set by the industry and in some cases set by government entities. That is why you should always pay attention to the star ratings of any vehicle that you are considering purchasing. These ratings are not just meant as a good piece of marketing. They are meant to show you just how safe a particular automobile choice is for you and your family.

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