Shopping for a Safe Vehicle

When it's time to purchase a vehicle, consumers must consider a multitude of options. They must also weigh the importance of things such as price, size, and safety. Whether you are in the market for a new or used vehicle, there are certain things that you should look for in a vehicle that you plan to purchase. Safety features should never be sacrificed for style or affordability, so it is important to consider the following:

1. Weight and Size of the Automobile

While smaller passenger vehicles often get better gas mileage and yield an affordable price tag, they may also offer less safety for passengers. Heavier vehicles usually fare better in collisions because they are able to absorb energy, unlike smaller vehicles with less structure to do so. More often than not in the event of a crash, passengers of larger vehicles fare better than those in smaller automobiles. Size and weight can be an important safety feature.

2. Design Crashworthiness

Vehicles are tested on their crashworthiness level, which studies things such as the size of the interior of a vehicle, areas that are likely to crumble on impact, and collapsibility of all sides of the vehicle when struck. The higher crashworthiness rating a vehicle has, the better it will hold up in an automobile accident, lessening the chances of injury or death. Seat belts and airbags are also safety features that are considered in a vehicle's crashworthiness rating.

3. Vehicle Safety Ratings

Vehicles are rated by the NHTSA and IIHS on their safety levels. Most new automobiles earn high ratings, as they protect passengers well in crash tests. These tests purposely crash vehicles to test their ability to protect passengers throughout the automobile from a variety of types of crashes. Top Safety Pick awards are awarded each year based on this testing, so if safety is important in your car buying process you should look for those awards.

4. Vehicle Technologies

While technology in an automobile is often viewed as simply a luxury to those who can afford it, technology also serves to increase safety in many vehicles. As technology advances, more and more crash prevention systems can be found in cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. These safety technologies include warning signals and automated braking systems for frontal collision dangers, as well as rear impact warnings. Many vehicles are now manufactured with adaptive headlights, which move with the vehicle's steering, detection of blind spot dangers, and warnings for lane departure. Each of these technological advances in automobiles offers additional safety to passengers.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, safety features should be on your checklist. Before purchasing a new automobile, you should make sure that it has acceptable testing results and offers the level of safety features that you feel is important to your situation. As a personal injury law firm, we represent many Georgians who were injured or lost loved ones in car crashes that may have been prevented with better vehicle safety features.

For more information on vehicle safety or to discuss a potential Georgia auto accident claim, contact Jones & Swanson today at (770) 427-5498. We are also available 24 hours via our online contact forms.