1. High Crash Test Scores: Almost all motor vehicle makes and models for sale in the United States are supposed to undergo a series of crash tests conducted by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The most important crash ratings to look for are those for front and side car crashes and rollover resistance, as most serious injuries occur as a result of these types of auto accidents.
2. Antilock Braking System: When used properly, these new brake systems should allow for shorter stopping distances on slippery roads, and maintenance of steering control. They are also important in preventing vehicles from hydroplaning, which could potentially prevent a serious car accident.
3. Side-Impact Airbags:Front driver and passenger airbags are now required in all makes and models of vehicles as a necessary safety feature. Additionally, many makes and models of vehicles also include side-impact and side curtain airbags as well. Side-impact airbags are very important for protecting the torso of the occupants since there is no crumple zone to absorb the shock from a side auto accident collision. Therefore, these airbags have been proven to save many lives in side auto accident collisions and are a very important safety feature in all vehicles.
4. Side Curtain Airbags: Not to be confused with side-impact airbags, which protect the torso, side curtain airbags are intended to protect the head and neck from serious injury in a side collision car accident. Again, there is not as much crumple zone to absorb the shock of side collisions, so side curtain airbags are very important, and are becoming a standard feature in most makes and models of vehicles.
5. Rear-Parking Sensors:Especially important on larger vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, which provide larger rear blind spots, these sensors are especially useful in detecting objects as well as small children who may not be visible through the rear window or rear-view mirror. Many vehicles are now also coming equipped with rear cameras, which have already proven to be helpful in preventing a number pedestrian and car accidents.
6. Good Tires:While this may seem like an obvious statement, many people tend to overlook the safety advantages of well-maintained tires. Bad tires have been proven to be a major cause of many preventable auto accidents. Be sure to have your tires rotated, properly inflated air pressure, and replaced regularly to ensure maximum safety. Also, it is a good idea to examine the tire’s brand. As car accident lawyers, we remember the terrible auto accidents that occurred with Firestone/Bridgestone tires just a few years ago.
7. Cargo Netting or a Cargo Cage: Many injuries in car accidents result from objects inside the vehicle striking the occupants and causing bodily harm. Cargo nets can help to reduce and even prevent these types of injuries that can occur when involved in an auto accident.
Before I purchase a car, I go to the NHTSA’s website and do a search. Safety is our first concern (to quote Thomas the Train’s Sir Topham Hatt).
Jon Groth is a Wisconsin Personal Injury Attorney handling cases throughout Wisconsin and most recently in Waukesha, Beloit, Kenosha and Wauwatosa.
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