Automakers not only want you to survive a crash, they want the five-star rating so they can convince people to buy their cars. Does it work? Do you care about safety ratings?

We're of two minds on this one. When it's a performance-oriented car we'll be driving we don't care. We'd rather drive like the wind and not be weighed down by too much safety equipment and, honestly, if you're buying a ZR1 or a Gallardo and you ask to see the safety ratings there's probably something wrong with you. On the other hand, if our wife/mom/kid/grandma/husband/lover/cousin is driving, we do care. Given the many variables in a crash it's hard to be for sure what will and will not save you. Is a car with a four-star side impact rating and a five-star front impact rating safer than a car with a five-star side impact rating and a four-star front impact rating? On the other hand, we're not letting anyone we love drive around in a Chinese car that barely passes the government or IIHS's ratings. But what say you?

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