When shopping for a new car or truck, knowing the car safety ratings of vehicles you may be interested in is a very important. The car safety rating of a vehicle refers to its ability to withstand a crash or accident. While new cars are certainly much safer now than they were in years past, some makes and models vehicles are safer than others. With so much riding on the ability of a car to protect you and your family in the event of an accident, checking the car safety rating of a vehicle should be one of the first things you consider.
Check the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, is the government agency responsible for helping reduce the number of accidents and deaths on America's highways and roads. Furthermore, NHTSA is responsible for issuing car safety ratings on any new car or truck for sale in the United States. Through its affiliate website, SaferCar.gov, NHTSA allows you to view the safety rating results for any car available. You can check head-on impact collision results, side-impact collision results, rear end collision results as well as rollover information and information regarding potential survivability of an accident.
Check Other Sources
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports Magazine also offer valuable car safety related information. While the testing done by these organizations is not as extensive as that of NHTSA, these organizations do provide quality information about how different types of vehicles might survive a crash or accident. Compare results from all of the sources to make sure that you are purchasing the safest vehicle available for yourself and your family.
Car Safety Reports: Key Features to Check
It does not matter whether you are looking for a used or new car; car safety reports provide vital information that may determine what you buy. Listed below are some things you should look for when you get your new or used car safety report.
- Seat belts. The safety report should have information on the safety belts in the car. Look for information on the pretensioner, and make sure it gets good reviews. This is the part that lets you remove any slack. Look for an energy management feature that allows the belt to give if there is a severe crash, so there's not too much energy placed on your chest during an accident. Ensure that there are rear lap and shoulder seat belts as well.
- Head restraints. In new model cars, head restraints are required in all vehicles in the front seat. However, they are not required for the back seat. These are extensions of the car's seats which will help limit head movement if there is a rear end collision. If this is a newer car, make sure that the front seats have these intact.
- Anti-lock brakes. Make sure that the car has an anti-lock brake system in the auto safety report. This will help prevent a car's wheels from locking up on a person in a hard braking situation. This helps the driver have more control over their steering.
- Traction control. You also might want to look for a car that has traction control. This will help stabilize the car by actually taking control of how much the drive wheels slip when you apply extra power. This control will automatically adjust your engine power output.
- All wheel drive. All wheel drive is another thing you might want to look for in a car safety report. With all wheel drive, the car will distribute power to the rear and front tires. This will help the car have maximum traction.
- Electronic stability control. Some cars may have what is called electronic stability control. This is to help drivers to maintain control of their car when there is some sort of extreme steering that is being done. This control will sense when a car is beginning to spin out and it will automatically brake.
Related Questions and Answers
What is the Highest Car Crash Safety Rating?
There are many things to consider when looking for a new car, but the car crash safety rating should be at the top of your list. The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) rates a vehicles crash worthiness and rollover safety by performing various tests that enable them to make this determination. Vehicles are rated from one star, which is the lowest rating, to five stars, the highest rating. The Federal Government set the standard regulations and the vehicle rating, even though they vary depending on vehicle type, they must fall within that standard. The Federal standard for 2011 will be even more stringent.
Where Can I Look Up Vehicle Safety Reports?
If you are considering purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, you should get vehicle safety reports before you seal the deal. The vehicle safety report is a detailed record of any ownership history, title problems, accidents, and service that is connected to that particular vehicle. There are several service providers, which utilize a nationwide database to access this information using the car's VIN number, or vehicle identification number. The car or light truck must be year 1981 or newer in order for this information to be accessed. Among these services where you can look up vehicle safety reports are CARFAX, Auto Lemon (isitalemon.com), and DMV.org (the unofficial guide to the DMV).
What Is the Highest Rated SUV for Safety?
If you are in the market for the safest SUV, then you may be interested in considering the highest rated SUV for safety. Vehicles are subjected to federally mandated safety tests and are rated from one star to five stars, five being the highest rating. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there are many SUVs that are rated five stars. The consensus is that the highest rated SUV for safety is the Volvo XC90 because it employs all the safety features you would need to protect you and your passengers in a crash.
What Is the Mini Cooper Safety Rating?
The Mini Cooper safety rating is an 8.1 out of 10. Governmental testing has shown the Mini to be an extremely safe vehicle. It performed well in the NHTSA and IIHS tests in 2007, and is considered to be a solidly built car. Moreover, the 2010 Mini earned a 4 (out of 5) star rating for protection from front end, rear end, and side impact crashes. What is more, it received a 5 star rating for passenger protection against side impact collisions, and rollover testing. Overall, the Mini Cooper appears to be a safe and well built vehicle.