We’re all looking for a “safe” car. But what does that really mean? What should we be looking for when shopping for a car?
It’s reassuring that each new car must meet the most recent federal safety standards, but that doesn’t mean that two visibly comparable cars are equally safe. Some manufacturers offer safety features beyond the required federal minimums. It is worth taking the time to research and compare any models you are considering purchasing.
Then there’s the issue of safe used cars, which, of course, are less likely to have all the latest safety features. In addition, any used car carries with it a maintenance history, an accident history and a mileage history, all of which need to be checked out to ensure there are no compromised safety issues. And, while most new cars have warranties and offer emergency roadside service plans, most used cars don’t have the same coverage. Be sure to also check that any recalls on the car have been taken care of.
So what’s a shopper to do?
Buying a Safe Car
Let’s say you’ve decided to buy a new car, instead of a used car this time around. With that one decision, you’ve assured yourself of the following safety features:
- Safety belts
- Air bags
- Head restraints
- Energy-absorbent steering column
- Shatterproof laminated glass
- Dual braking systems
- High mounted brake lights
A new car will also have several improvements over the older models, such as tougher bumpers, improved roof and door strength, more interior padding, safer fuel systems and gas tanks, as well as better instruments, controls, warning devices, lighting, windshield wipers, defoggers and rear view mirrors.
In addition, manufacturers of new cars must certify that the occupants of every new model can survive a front-end crash into a fixed barrier at 30 miles per hour.
That’s not a bad start for safety features. Yet, there are other steps you can take to ensure the purchase of a safe car. One of those is to check on the car’s crash test rating by visiting the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Just click on “Vehicle Ratings”.
In addition to the crash test rating, consider the car’s size and weight. The laws of physics dictate that larger and heavier cars are safer than lighter and smaller ones, as proven in the statistic that small cars have twice as many occupant deaths each year as large cars.
Keep in mind that all of these safety features will have an effect on your insurance premium, so be sure to tell your agent about them. Give Berkely Brokerage Corp. a call today with any questions you may have on this topic. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you to save some money.