Important Safety Features to Look for in a New Car



crash test dummies help with safety features

You decided that your family needs a new vehicle. When you’re at the dealership, what features are priorities to you?
Or how about your teenage daughter who just received her license –what car do you feel comfortable with her driving?

Here is some important information on vehicle safety:

Vehicle steering and handling safety features


Steering is a main contributor is many car accidents because drivers are unable to control their vehicle from a steering or braking standpoint. There is one feature that will unquestionably minimize potential tragedies: Electronic Stability Control (ESC). Esc uses sensors in the vehicle to determine which direction the driver wants the car to go. The sensor will detect any skid on the roadway and it will recover from the skids that the human driver cannot. ESC helps the driver keep control of the car if they are in a panic after hitting a patch of ice on the road. Because of its proven effectiveness, the U.S. Government is requiring that all new vehicles must be equipped with ESC by the 2012 model year. However, do not get confused.

Different manufacturers use different names for their ESC systems, such as:

  • Electronic Stability Program (ESP)

  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)

  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)

  • StabiliTrak

  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)

  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control


Vehicle Crash Safety Protection


It is recommended to do research on the car you want before you buy it. You can find information on published test scores concerning different safety aspects of the car, such as the roof strength of the vehicle. You can compare these numbers to other vehicles.

Pay close attention to these safety features:

Seat belts: Make sure the vehicle has lap AND shoulder belts. Just lap belts are not adequate.

Laminated glass: Buy a vehicle that has laminated door glass instead of fragile safety glass

Side and rollover airbags: These are enhanced safety features that are recommended

Adjustable headrests: Always buy a vehicle with adjustable headrests to minimize neck injuries.

Crash testing Comparisons


Compare crash testing ratings, this is in regards to injuries the dummies experience in the crash tests. The dummy tests the forces to the dummy’s head, neck, chest, and femurs. There is also a head injury criteria that was established by the government regarding to frontal crash protection. This states that any score above 1000 is unacceptable and that 700 is a typical HIC score.

Vehicles are often rated on their ranking and given a “star rating”. Five stars are the highest rating and one is the lowest.

If you plan to purchase a car in 2012, you will be receiving the optimum safety features on your vehicle. Although the way the car looks is important to most consumers, you really need to value the safety features on your vehicle! Based on statistics, every American will be in one car accident throughout their life, and you want to survive that, right?