Price, gas mileage, performance features and color are just a
few factors buyers look for when shopping for a new vehicle. But
safety should never be overlooked when comparing vehicles.
All vehicles must meet federal safety standards, but some
manufacturers include additional safety features that make them
safer than others. The Insurance Information Institute recommends
considering the following when shopping for a new or used car or
- Crashworthiness: Ratings from the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety's website can help determine how the vehicle
and passengers would fare in a crash.
- Structural design: A strong safety cage and
front and rear ends designed to buckle and bend to absorb the force
of a crash help decrease the chance of injury.
- Vehicle size and weight: Larger and heavier
cars are safer than lighter and smaller cars. In a collision,
heavier vehicles push lighter ones backwards, decreasing the forces
inside the heavier car and increasing them in the lighter car.
- Restraint system: Belts, airbags and head
restraints work with a vehicle's structure to protect you in a
serious crash by reducing your chances of hitting something hard or
being ejected from the car.
- Safety features: Anti-lock brakes help you
keep steering control by automatically pumping rapidly instead of
locking up when you brake too hard for conditions. Daytime running
lights help make your vehicle more visible to oncoming
- Driving experience: Avoid letting teens drive
unsafe vehicles, such as those with high-performance engines or
those prone to rolling over.