According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, over 41,000 people died in car accidents just in 2007. Because accidents are so prevalent and serious, it is important that people find the safest vehicles when they head down the road. Luckily, auto manufacturers take safety matters just as serious and have been working for years at developing new auto safety features that will help keep you and your family a lot safer.
Here are some of the latest safety features that are available you can look for when shopping for your next vehicle:
- Airbags. Manufacturer’s have been working on improving airbags. Many vehicles today have an airbag shut-off switch that can be used for children or small adults, as well as side impact and side curtain airbags, which are especially ideal for those transporting children.
- Back-up Sensor. With so many news stories of children being accidentally run over, these back-up sensors alert drivers to let them know something is in their path.
- Anti-lock brakes. No more pumping the breaks if you need to quickly stop. The new systems are much safer and allow for a quicker and smoother stop.
- Automatic Lock Retractor and Emergency Locking Retractor. This is a safety measure on the seatbelts so that it automatically takes up the slack in the belt when a child is moved forward at a very fast rate.
- Child Safety Devices. Options such as child safety seat tethers and a built-in children’s booster seat, which folds up into the rear seat, is helpful in providing additional protection.
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System. Not having proper tire pressure can lead to blow-outs, which can cause accidents. Some vehicles today are equipped with a monitoring system that warns you if the tire pressure is not safe.
- Notification Systems. Some vehicles being equipped with systems like OnStar provide an additional layer of safety for many drivers, especially the elderly.
- Safer Engineering. There are safety features that have been built into the cars, and not visible to the eye. Such changes as having an electronic stability system can help reduce the number of accidents, while things like crash resistant door pillars and crumple zones, along with head restraints, help to reduce injury if an accident occurs.
Safer vehicles are on the horizon. If you are in the market to purchase a car, start by doing a search for the crash test results and make sure that the one you are considering gets a high rating. Beyond that, the more safety features your vehicle has, the better. Not only will it be safer to drive, but having the options may even save you money in the long run with avoiding costly accidents and getting you discounts on your insurance rates.