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The internet has created a world of opportunities for consumers who are interested in becoming educated about keeping their family safe. However, at times, it can be overwhelming to try and figure out which sources to listen to and which to disregard.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is an independent, non-profit group that researches data that can help reduce highway accidents, injuries and crash deaths. The group is funded by auto insurers and provides a wealth of educational materials and videos to better educate consumers.

Today, I am going to discuss one of their videos, Shopping for a Safer Car. This video gives an overview of all the safety features that you should look for when you go to buy a new car.

Car Insurance1. Crash Avoidance Technologies
Certain vehicles are built with special crash avoidance technologies.  The first of these technologies is ‘Daytime Running Lights (DRL)’.  DRL can help others see your car from further away which lessens the chance of them running into you.  Another crash avoidance technology is called ‘Electronic Stability Control (ESC)’.  ESC auto engages to control your vehicle if you lose control after turning to sharply. Buying a vehicle with these technologies could be a great step to take in reducing your risk of accident.

2. Vehicle Size and Weight
Large, heavy vehicles offer more protection in crash because they have more structure with which to absorb the crash energy around you.  With that in mind, extra-large vehicle offer little additional protection and can actually will actually cause more harm to other vehicles when involved in an accident. Finding a happy medium in terms of size and weight will keep your family safe while not increasing the potential damage you could cause others.

3. Structure and Restraint Systems
Vehicles with a strong safety cage and crumple zones are safer for you and your family. Vehicles with lap belts in addition to side and front airbags will do more to protect your body from injury.  It is also good to consider adjustable head restraints for whiplash prevention.

4. Crash Test Ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash test ratings on their website for tests they have conducted. In addition, the government website, Safercar.gov has crash test ratings from its own tests. Compare the vehicles you are considering on each of these sites and stick with those automobiles that have a high rating from both. 

Taking the extra time to learn about the safety features and ratings of the vehicles you may buy is well worth it. After all, insurance can assist you financially after an accident but it can’t repair you physically or emotionally. A vehicle with the right safety features could prevent you from enduring permanent damage to your body and psyche.

Posted 8:04 PM

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