Jim Adler | The Tough, Smart Lawyer
By Jim Adler October 5, 2015

As a car buyer, you want to ensure a vehicle is safe, and you’ve heard about auto safety ratings to guide you. But just what do auto safety ratings mean?

First, that depends on who issues them, since auto safety ratings come from a variety of sources. Among the best known are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a federal agency, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit group funded by auto insurers.

As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, like the NHTSA, Safercar.gov also has valuable safety information for choosing — or avoiding — a car.

IIHS Safety Ratings

The IIHS conducts five tests to assess two important elements of auto safety: crash avoidance and mitigation (technology which can help prevent or reduce the severity of a crash) and crashworthiness (how well a vehicle protects occupants during a collision).

The five tests involve moderate overlap front, small overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints. Based on these tests, a vehicle’s crashworthiness is rated as being good, acceptable, marginal or poor.

In terms of crash avoidance and mitigation, the IIHS assigns vehicles with front crash prevention systems ratings of basic, advanced or superior.

NHTSA Safety Ratings

According to Safercar.gov, the NHTSA’s five-star safety ratings system is the strictest one of all. Safety elements for cars or pickup trucks made in 2011 or later are subjected to strict ratings by the government agency.

What do the NHTSA’s five-star safety ratings mean? That depends on the type of test and the ratings.

A five-star frontal crash test rating means you have a 10% or less chance of serious injury in a front-end crash. A single-star frontal-crash rating means your risk is 46% worse.

The NHTSA also tests rollovers as well as side impacts. For the latter, it evaluates impacts on different sized crash-test dummies. The agency then assesses the potential for injuries from both the driver’s side and the passenger’s side of the vehicle.

Testing is done with crashes into a fixed barrier at 35 miles per hour and is evaluated by slow-motion video of the impact and its aftermath.

Crash avoidance technologies also are assessed, though not through testing. The agency instead pinpoints features that it points out to consumers, such as technology that alerts drivers when they’re getting too close to another vehicle.

The NHTSA doesn’t rate every vehicle every year, but rather selects vehicles to rate by their estimated sales volume. It’s been doing so for more than three decades.

As for Safercar.gov, it enables car buyers to search manufacturers and model years to compare safety ratings. Factors such as a vehicle’s weight and size are taken into account.

Other Safety Strategies

Besides checking safety ratings from such sources, consumers have other safety strategies at their disposal. One is to explore the Internet for buyer reviews and other information about vehicles they’re considering to purchase. People often do such research to compare prices, but comparing safety standards also is important.

Also, when a vehicle is purchased, buyers can register it with the NHTSA so they’ll receive an alert if a safety problem is found later or if a recall is issued. The agency provides an NHTSA app for this notification process, and also for consumers to submit complaints or concerns to the NHTSA.

The NHTSA also provides information on safety recalls via its Twitter and Facebook accounts.

It’s also a good idea to check out a car’s roof strength, since that can be a life-changing element in a rollover crash. The IIHS has been rating roofs since 2008.

Prospective car buyers also should determine if an older vehicle has ESC, or electronic stability control, to help maintain control on slippery or curved roads. Cars made since 2012 all have ESC as a standard feature, but some earlier vehicles also have it.

Other features also have been added to recent cars to improve safety, including improved airbags, lane departure warning (LDW) and forward collision warning (FCW).

Used car buyers should do the most checking, and that includes using services such as CarFax to search a vehicle’s title and then learn of its owners, maintenance and crash history.

You’re advised not to buy a vehicle that was in a severe crash. A mechanic can check out a potential purchase for you to ensure that won’t be a problem, as well as to make sure a car’s tires and brakes are in good condition.

The bottom line is not to buy until you’re ready — and you won’t be ready until you’ve fully evaluated the safety elements of the vehicle you’re considering.

FREE Case Review


Erick Becker
Erick Becker
01:20 06 May 17
I am a Patrol Deputy for the Sheriff Office and while working one night, a drunk driver crossed the center stripe on the highway and struck my patrol vehicle head on with his pick up truck. Needless to say we (the drunk driver and I) were both lucky to survive, as the accident occurred at highway speeds. Following my release from the hospital, I knew that I would need to have someone represent me. My employer was happy to represent me in regards to prosecuting the driver for criminal charges but, can do little in respect to the recovery of financial losses for medical bills, pain and discomfort, time lost from work etc... This is how my relationship with Jim Adler and Associates began. Yep, you probably guessed correctly when you think of what made me choose the "Texas Hammer" to represent me. Those half obnoxious, half way entertaining commercials and radio announcements most Texans have been seeing and hearing on the TV and radio for years instantly came to mind. Yes, I wanted to "hammer" this S.O.B. for trying to kill me but, more importantly I was worried about the costs associated with the life long injuries I had sustained as a result of this drunk driver's negligent behavior. I contacted Jim Adler and Associates and so began our relationship. I was immediately surprised by the prompt attention and the expression of genuine concern for my well being that I received from the employees of Jim Adler's office. Now as you can imagine, lawyers are not a breed that is held in very high regard by people in my profession but, my experiences with Jim Adler's office and his employees have forced me to amend my way of thinking, at least on the civil side of the house anyway. I have to chuckle when I say that because my experience as a client of Jim Adler's firm has been exceptionally pleasant. So before I venture down one of the stereotypical and infinite number of rabbit holes associated with the relationship between members of law enforcement and lawyers; I will do my best to stay focused on my experience with Jim Adler & Associates. Upon being informed that my case had been accepted by Jim Adler's office; I was contacted by Iris Sanchez who informed me that she was to be my case manager and any questions, comments and concerns could be directed to her. I was pleasantly surprised to receive regular calls from Iris assisting with my medical appointments and future follow up appointments. Iris had informed me that Jim Adler's son, Bill Adler would be handling my case and I was even more surprised to receive several calls from Bill to discuss my case. Now you might be thinking "what's the big deal" with the person who is representing you contacting you? In reality, you are correct in that it isn't a big deal but, what is noteworthy and what separates Jim Adler's Office from the multitude of other lawyers is the genuine expressions of concern and the desire Bill Adler conveyed to me to do their best to help me. I felt an immediate connection and instantly realized I had made the correct choice in contacting Jim Adler & Associates to handle my case. One thing I think lawyers and police officers can agree on is the proverbial wheels of justice turn very slowly. Months go by and our professional relationship is never neglected. Through the unwavering attention of Iris Sanchez and Bill Adler himself, I never felt "out of the loop" so to speak and always had a clear understanding of where my case was at in regards to the legal process. In conclusion, I know my brief description of my experiences with Bill Adler and, his assistant Iris Sanchez, cannot provide the credit they deserve. Together they have done an outstanding job representing their firm/employer. If you are seeking a great firm to represent your legal interests and, take comfort in establishing a professional relationship that feels more like a friendship than a casual business acquaintance, then I highly suggest Jim Adler & Associates.
Tierra Clark
Tierra Clark
18:52 19 May 17
My lawyer Bill Adler and case manager Iris Sanchez are amazing! They constantly call and check on you . They keep you up to date through the process. They care about you as a person and not just a client. The wreck was a life changing experience that I've never been through before. I'm just glad I had the right people like Bill Adler and Iris Sanchez to help me through it. Truly satisfied.Thanks and God bless y'all!
Lorenzo Preston
Lorenzo Preston
17:23 26 Jan 17
Jim Adler only offer nothing less than a great experience. They are a very well-established organization. They are outstanding on keeping you up to date with cases. There's no beating around the bush with this organization as they are only straight forward with the whole process. They treat their customers like family as well as go above and beyond to fight cases for you only leaving you with nothing but the best experience. Easy 5-star rated organization. I would highly recommend this one organization you not look over.
Tori Barroga
Tori Barroga
14:17 11 May 17
I was dropped from a previous law firm regarding my case before I called Jim Adler. They immediately took up my case and worked hard on it - I was always up to date with each step they took and the benefits or consequences of each. In the end, I am highly satisfied with the outcome and would not have it any other way. It took some time but I truly appreciate and want to thank everybody who helped me on this journey and worked tirelessly on it.
Bernard Orozco
Bernard Orozco
17:16 23 Feb 17
I am very happy with Jim Adler & Associates. I did not know anyone who has ever used the Law Firm before. The staff is very friendly and treated me as if I were family. At times it got very stressful being without a job. They helped me when I was confused about the process. Mrs. Theresa Rodriguez stayed in contact with me constantly. Checking on me to see how I was doing and to let me know how things were going on there end. The Attorneys that handled my case know exactly what they are doing to take good care of me. Thank You so much Attorney's Mr.Michael Gomez and Mr.Trey Smith.
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