When you are in the market to purchase a new motor vehicle, safety should be a main priority. You want to protect yourself and your family from a serious automobile accident and the vehicle you choose can make the difference of the extent of injuries if there is a crash. Many auto manufacturers are going beyond the minimum Federal standards and are now designing vehicles that incorporate even more crash protection and safety features.

According to the Buying a Safer Car 2008 brochure published by www.safercar.gov, there are key questions that you should ask when shopping for a vehicle. These questions are as follows:

• What features does this vehicle have that will help you avoid a crash? For example, does this vehicle have electronic stability control (ESC)?
• How well does this vehicle protect you during a crash? Does this vehicle have side air bag (SAB) head protection technology?
• What is the likelihood of this vehicle rolling over in a single-vehicle crash?
• What other types of advanced safety features does this vehicle have?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends consumers choose vehicles that offer electronic stability control and side air bag head protection technology. Side air bags help prevent fatalities in auto accidents. Additional protection to the head and chest is provided by SABs. The NHTSA believes that if all motor vehicles had head protection SABs, 700 to 1,000 lives would be saved each year in side-impact auto accidents.

Electronic stability control has many different trade names and is meant to help drivers retain control of their vehicles during extreme maneuvers or on slippery roads. ESC has the ability to sense when a vehicle is starting to lose control and it automatically applies pressure to the brakes to one or more of the wheels so that the vehicle will be turned in the right direction. A NHTSA study of U.S. crash data estimates that ESC can reduce single vehicle accidents of passenger cars by 26 percent and single vehicle accidents of SUVs by 48 percent. That is why the NHTSA is now requiring manufacturers to install ESC in vehicles in the 2009 model year.

Advance frontal air bag systems have also been found to prevent serious injury or death. Beginning September 1, 2006, all new motor vehicles must follow the new Federal standard for advanced air bags. Many advanced air bag systems are able to detect the severity of the crash, the occupant’s size, seating position and seat belt use. By talking with the auto dealer or reviewing the owner’s manual, you will be able to find out the details of the vehicle’s advanced air bag system, including features and sensors.

Frequently, accidents involving tire failure are caused by under-inflation of one or more tires. Starting with the 2006 model year, vehicles are now equipped with the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which monitors tire pressure. The system includes a warning light to let the driver know if tires are under-inflated.

There is additional information available for consumers regarding safety ratings and crash test results. Visit www.safercar.gov to read more information about the motor vehicles on the market. Choosing a safe automobile can help protect your family in a car crash.

 

If you have been in an automobile accident, contact us to see if you are eligible for compensation. If you have a claim, we can help you file.