When shopping for a new or used automobile, there are several factors that will influence your decision-making. You’ll want a vehicle that has good gas mileage, enough space for your needs, and one that has the type of engine and other performance features you’ve been looking for. However, one factor that is often forgotten is the vehicle’s safety rating.
As eTags often comments, it is important that you pay attention to this because the rating can help you get a better idea of how the vehicle would fare in the event of a crash. While you’re certainly not expecting to get into one over the course of your ownership of the vehicle, it’s one of the most commons causes of injury and death in the US. Wouldn’t you want to know that your vehicle will be able to provide you with the highest level of protection possible?
This is why, as an advocate for public safety on the roads, eTags has no complaints with choosing safety over style. Luckily, you won’t have to do that often since many cars with the highest safety ratings are also pretty stylish. Consumer Reports has a good resource on car safety ratings and how they are determined that you might want to check out. Here were a few key points that were made in the article by Consumer Reports.
How Are Car Safety Ratings Determined?
Crash Ratings: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conduct front and side-impact crash tests to see how well a vehicle can withstand a crash. Over the last few years, the crash tests have been made more stringent to strengthen vehicle safety and in doing so, manufactures have adjusting accordingly to assure their vehicles pass those tests. In fact, it was data from crash test that led to the implementation of laws requiring the use of child restrain devices.
Accident Avoidance: In addition to providing protection during a crash, a vehicle today should have features in place to help a motorist avoid a crash as well. Consumer Reports provides an accident-avoidance rating based on tests of the vehicle’s braking and emergency handling. In addition to breaking and handling, you have technology features that are taken into account like Lane Assist.
Rollover Resistance: The NHTSA provides a Rollover Resistance Rating, which should be considered – especially if you are planning on purchasing an SUV. The Rollover Resistance Rating shows how likely a vehicle may tip over during extreme steering, which can happen in various scenarios. The more likely a vehicle is to stay right side up, the better chance of reduced injury for passengers in most cases.
What Features Should I look for in a Vehicle?
In addition to looking at a vehicle’s safety rating, there are some basic features you should want in your vehicle. Both Consumer Reports and eTags would recommend that you consider buying a vehicle with an anti-lock brake system, blind-spot warning technology, electronic stability control, rearview cameras, and adaptive cruise control, among other features. Keep these tips in mind you go to the dealer’s lot for your next vehicle.