The internet is an invaluable source of information and it is great for consumers who are interested in keeping their family safe. It can be overwhelming to try and figure out which sources actually know what they are talking about.
An independent, non-profit group that researches data on highway accidents, injuries, and crash deaths, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is funded by auto insurers and provides good educational materials and videos to better educate consumers.
On this site, they have educational videos including one called Shopping for a Safer Car. This article summarizes the information in this informational video.
Restraint Systems and Vehicle Structure
Automobiles with crumple zones and a strong safety cage are safer than other vehicles. Automobiles with side and front airbags in addition to lap belts will do more to protect you from injury. It is also good to consider adjustable head rests to prevent whiplash.
Weight and Size
Larger vehicles offer more insulation in a crash because they have more structure with which to absorb the energy from the crash. Extra-large vehicles, however, offer little additional protection and can actually cause more harm to other vehicles when involved in a crash. Finding a happy medium in terms of size and weight will keep your family safe while not increasing the potential damage you could cause others.
Crash Test Scores
Crash test ratings are available on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website. Also, Safercar.gov, a government website, has crash test ratings from its very own tests. Compare the automobiles you are considering on both of these sites to get a more comprehensive view and stick with those vehicles that have a high rating from each site.
Crash Avoidance Innovations
Some cars are now built with special crash avoidance technologies. One of these technologies is Daytime Running Lights (DRL) which is meant to help others see your car from further away. This lessens the chance of them running into you. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is another innovation that auto engages a control mechanism of your automobile if you lose control after turning too abruptly. Buying an automobile with these features is a productive step in reducing your risk of an accident.
Taking the extra time to equip yourself with knowledge of different safety features and ratings of the cars you look at is well worth it. Insurance only goes so far in the event of an accident but it can’t repair you physically or emotionally. An automobile with the right safety features could prevent you from enduring more significant and less monetary losses.