Click above to view video of the 2008 smart fortwo crash test

Each year, it seems as if more and more new models are able to ace both the IIHS' and the government's crash-test ratings. In fact, according to Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, 97-percent of all new cars available today earn the highest four or five-star ratings from NHTSA. These all-too-similar ratings makes it rather difficult for consumers to make a choice based solely on passenger safety, so the Fed's have decided to take another stab at the current rating system, which was introduced way back in 1979. Though still based on a five-star ranking, the revised 2010 ratings will include additional front-end tests and a new side-impact test meant to mimic the impact of a vehicle that collides with a tree or pole. Also new for the '10 model year is an overall rating meant to make comparisons easier between competing vehicles. More changes are possible for 2012, as NHTSA is still considering whether to make electronic nannies like stability control mandatory.

[Source: The Detroit News]