Possible NHTSA 'Silver' Ratings Aim to Protect Older Drivers

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may turn an eye toward ol' Gramps as it looks to update its crash-test ratings. Bloomberg Businessweek reports NHTSA may implement a "silver" rating system for crash-protection of elderly drivers. Regulators may also pay closer attention to pedestrian and backseat-passenger protection, and implement new tests for electric vehicles.

"The baby boom is the largest generation in the history of this country," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland told Bloomberg in Washington. The agency says older occupants face a higher likelihood of injury in accidents.

Specifics are few, and there's no timetable yet for implementation of the new rules. NHTSA's last crash-test overhaul occurred in 2011; it implemented more-diverse crash test dummies and a new side-impact pole test. Strickland told Bloomberg the 2011 overhaul took three years to craft, which might give clues to how long any "silver" rating takes.

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