Atlanta Automobile Accident Attorneys Discuss Selecting a Safe Car for Your Family
Choosing a new car for your family can be a difficult decision. Your family's safety depends in part on the safety of your new car. Before selecting a vehicle, you should spend some time researching the safety of the automobile and its ability to protect passengers in case of an accident.
Whether you are searching for a new or used vehicle, the following are some important considerations, among others, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS):
- The size and weight of a vehicle matters: It is important to consider the size and weight of your potential vehicle, as this can matter in the event of a crash. Smaller, light weight vehicles generally offer less protection than larger or heavier vehicles. Those in small, light vehicles will likely absorb more of the impact of the crash, possibly resulting in serious injuries or death. Accordingly, to select the safest vehicle, pass up the lightest, smallest cars.
- Look for a crashworthy design: A vehicle's structure and design will help to determine its crashworthiness. A good structure means the vehicle offers a strong occupant compartment, side structure that will manage the force of a side collision, a roof that will not collapse in the event of a rollover and crumple zones to absorb serious accident forces. Safety belts and airbags are additional necessary safety features.
- Consider new crash avoidance technologies: Many automakers today offer cars and trucks with a variety of crash avoidance technologies. They may offer forward collision warnings, notifying you in the event you get too close to a car ahead, and rear accident warnings that beep when you are too close to a car or pedestrian while backing up. Autobrake systems will provide even more safety in that they will automatically brake in the event you do not respond to warnings. Some vehicles brake without even issuing a warning first. Adaptive headlights, lane departure warnings and blind spot detection are all additional crash prevention technologies available in some of the latest vehicles.
Vehicle Ratings and Crash Tests
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers vehicle ratings addressing crashworthiness. These ratings focus on the vehicle's frontal and side crashworthiness, roof strength, head restraints and electronic stability control. When it comes to used vehicles, in addition to checking IIHS ratings, research the individual history of the car to ensure it has not been involved in any accidents that may have damaged its integrity.
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