Car shopping is always exciting, but in addition to seeking out the newest model in your favorite color with the fanciest wheels, its important to look out for a few safety features to make sure your car will keep you safe too. Taking the vehicle for a test drive before you lease or purchase it is smart as well so you can check for these features and take note of anything that may limit your safety.
Checking that the seat belts in your car work properly and are comfortable to wear is essential. Seat belts are designed to keep you inside a car if there is ever a crash and they reduce the risk of hitting the steering wheel or windshield upon impact. Some newer cars also offer adjustable upper belts to help fit the size of the passenger and seat belt pretensioners to remove any extra slack immediately in a crash.
Front airbags are made to inflate upon impact so a passenger does not collide with the dashboard or windshield, while side airbags limit the risk of hitting the door or any object that crashes through it. However, airbags work most effectively when used in addition to seat belts. Before purchasing a car, be sure that all of the vehicle’s airbags are properly placed and in working condition.
It is important to have antilock brakes in your car, especially if you live in a cold-weather climate where the roads become icy in the winter. This braking system prevent the car’s wheels from locking during fast and forceful braking to help the driver keep control of the steering.
All-Wheel Drive & Traction Control
These features work together to give power to both the front and rear wheels to maximize traction across the entire car. All-wheel drive improves a car’s ability to stay on the road in tough conditions so it doesn’t slip, while traction control improves stability of the car when applying excess power.
This isn’t necessarily a feature you can control, but crash data and accident statistics reveal that heavier cars and trucks are more protective than smaller and lighter weight cars.
Courtesy of Reader’s Digest