Many cars nowadays come with so many different gadgets and accessories to enhance the driving experience. Such things include GPS, satellite radio, and in-dash video devices. Unfortunately, this emphasis on shiny objects can sometimes take away from the emphasis of safety in a vehicle.
Another issue with buying a safe car is buying a used car. You never quite know exactly what safety features are still working or effective in a car that has been owned by somebody else for years. You have to do a diligent job of looking at accident history reports and maintenance history to ensure you are picking something that still provides good protection.
There are many things to take a look at, and some car manufacturers do a better job than others in the safety department, so let's take a look at what you should be looking for.
Buying a Safe Car
For right now, let's say you decide to a buy a brand new car. By deciding to go brand new, you are guaranteed some aspects of car safety.
- Seat belts
- Air bags
- Head Restraints
- Electronic stability control
- Theft protection
- Functioning warning devices
Adding to that, many new cars come with enhanced features over their older models. You can expect to see safety improvements in the bumper, roofs, doors, cushioning, fuel systems, and gas tank. The newer car will also have some better technology geared towards safety such as warning systems, de-foggers, windshield wipers, and advanced steering and braking controls.
In addition, new car producers have to confirm that any passenger in a new vehicle can survive a front-end crash into a solid barrier at 30mph.
Therefore, buying a brand new car is a good start when considering safety, but there are other considerations as well. One of those considerations is to take a look at the car's crash test rating on the website of the Insurance Institure for Highway Safety.
Another consideration is to take a look at the vehicle's weight and size. Physics dictate that a larger and heavier vehicle provides more protection than a small car. Statistics are evidence of this as they indicate that there are about 2x the number of deaths every year in small cars when compared with large cars.
One more thing to always remember is to wear seat belts at all times. The belts, air bags, and head rest all work in conjunction inside the vehicle to keep a driver protected in the event of a crash.
Features that Prevent Accidents
Another important factor to take a look at is whether or not the vehicle has features that help prevent accidents. Examples include things such as how quickly a car can accelerate to avoid danger or how well it handles.
More features you may want are a reverse dash-cam, traction control, self-leveling suspension, high performance tires, and wide set wheels. These are especially helpful when considering the elements of rain, snow, and ice.
It Starts with You
Not only are you tasked with picking a vehicle sufficient enough to protect yourself and your loved ones, but you are also responsible for driving safely with whatever vehicle you are in. This means driving defensively and learning the ins and outs of the features in your vehicle so you can use them effectively to increase safety. We here at Improv Comedy Traffic School stress that safe driving ultimately starts with you and that a safe vehicle doesn't make up for unsafe driving.