Choosing a Safe Vehicle

May 29, 2020

Our Stroudsburg personal injury lawyer knows all too well that car accidents are the most common way in which the average person may suffer a personal injury. With that in mind, it makes sense to take precautions and do as much as we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. One precaution we can take is to buy a safe vehicle to drive. But how do we know which vehicles are safe?

What to Consider When Shopping for a Car in Stroudsburg or Elsewhere

In researching which cars are safe, there are four factors you should consider:

  • How the vehicle performs in crash rate tests
  • The vehicle’s weight
  • The vehicle’s center of gravity
  • The vehicle’s safety features 

Crash-test ratings

There are two entities that conduct crash tests and rate new vehicles. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (the “NHTSA”) – a federal agency – conducts crash tests on vehicles, rates them using a 5-star rating system, and provides the results to consumers. 

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (the “IIHS”) – a non-profit organization funded by automobile insurance companies – also conducts crash tests.  It has tougher crash protection standards than the NHTSA, regularly updates them, and gives the safest vehicles its “Top Safety Pick” rating.

Before buying a car, you should make sure it gets good crashworthiness ratings from the NHTSA and is an IIHS “Top Safety Pick.”

Vehicle Weight

It almost goes without saying that the heavier your vehicle is, the better it will protect you and your loved ones in a car accident. Although larger vehicles tend to consume more gas, the extra cost may be worth it for safety purposes. Even in a large vehicle, however, you’ll still need to check the car’s crash-test ratings.

Vehicle’s Center of Gravity 

The next factor you’ll need to consider is the vehicle’s rollover resistance rating (especially if you’re thinking of buying a larger vehicle). Both the NHTSA and the IIHS rate cars and other vehicles for their likelihood to roll over due to sudden or sharp turns of the steering wheel, sliding on wet or icy roads, collisions, etc. Generally, vehicles with lower centers of gravity are less likely to flip or roll over than vehicles with higher centers of gravity.

Safety Features

Newer vehicles come equipped with safety features designed to prevent collisions such as stability control, reversing cameras, forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, blind-spot warnings, and rear cross-traffic alert systems.  Cars that come with these safety features help to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

When Your Teen Starts Driving in Pennsylvania

When your teen gets their license and starts driving, you want to keep them safe.  You can buy them the safest car possible, but nothing will replace properly training them and impressing upon them the importance of not driving while distracted, sleepy, or under the influence.

Keep Your Stroudsburg Personal Injury Lawyer’s Information Handy

Whether you or your teen are driving, always keep your lawyer’s information in the glovebox and be sure to give your Stroudsburg personal injury lawyer a call in the event of a local accident or a crash that occurs elsewhere in the state. Contact our office today.