When choosing a car to buy, there’s a lot of different factors to consider. The price, how it looks and certain features are sure to be high on your list, but how big a role does safety play in your purchase?
You might assume that all cars are equally safe, but that isn’t necessarily the case. Although all cars will have to meet certain safety requirements to be allowed on the road, that doesn’t change the fact that some cars are safer than others.
Not all of them are family friendly
If you’ve got a family to take care of, then choosing a safe car takes on added importance. Generally speaking, larger vehicles offer greater protection for their occupants, and the added bonus of extra space for a family and all its belonging.
Another consideration is what kinds of safety features are included. For a family car you’ll want protection included for all passengers, so of course seat belts are a must (and a legal requirement). Airbags, although helpful in the event of an accident, can actually cause injury to children, so disable the airbag if you can or place younger passengers in the rear seats.
The insurance company says yes
You’ll also likely be aware that car insurance firms certainly consider some vehicles to be safer than others. High performance cars that can accelerate quickly are more likely to be involved in accidents and so have higher insurance fees, while cars with additional safety features will generally be offered cheaper rates.
Of course, just because you are in a car that is considered “less safe” does not necessarily mean you are at fault when an incident occurs. If there is any dispute over your claim, make sure you contact a car accident lawyer for advice. The other parties may try to use your vehicle type to make insinuations about your behaviour behind the wheel – with legal support, however, this kind of argument can quickly be overcome.
A second-hand safety hazard
If you buy a second-car you may get a fantastic deal on the price, but you will have fewer safety guarantees. A lot of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the buyer so it’s important that you know what to look out for. Check the vehicle for any signs of accident damage including evidence of a re-spray or welding.
You should also check the car’s tyres for pressure and tread depth as well as all the internal safety features. Do all the dashboard lights work, are the seatbelts functioning properly and does the car come with documentation showing its history? Also, always ensure that you take the vehicle for a test drive to make sure that it is safe.
What you can do
How you treat your car also makes a big difference to how safe it is. Regular maintenance is the best way of ensuring that your vehicle is safe, so be sure to take it in for yearly servicing and keep on top of oil changes and engine coolant levels. If you look after your car, it will do a better job of looking after you.