Prioritizing safety while on the road with your family is an important, yet often overlooked factor when buying a car. Some of the latest statistics show that road crashes are “the second leading cause of death worldwide among young people ages 5-14.” Therefore, when looking to buy a vehicle, it is crucial to seek out choices that have superior safety features.Whether you are buying a new car before your next summer vacation, or simply for daily use, finding a vehicle that keeps your entire family safe is easier than it may sound. Explore three top strategies for selecting the safest new or used vehicle.
Research vehicle safety ratings prior to visiting the dealership
No matter if you are looking to buy a truck, car, SUV, or minivan, all vehicles should be tested for safety. Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) releases safety reports on new vehicles to help consumers make a more informed buying decision. More specifically, their “5-Star Safety Ratings program evaluates how vehicles perform in crash tests.” This program includes frontal crash tests, side barrier crash tests, and rollover resistance tests. Before heading to the dealership, it is wise to browse the vehicle makes and models you are considering. This will help you narrow down your choices based on solid safety statistics before speaking with a car dealer.
Create a list of safety questions to ask at the dealership
Since the vehicle buying process can quickly become overwhelming, it is crucial to write down all questions that you have before visiting your chosen dealership. This is not only important for getting the best deal, but also for having all of your safety-related questions answered. Although the answers to many vehicle-specific safety questions are available online, you will likely have a few that pertain to your family’s unique needs. When buying a pre-owned vehicle, however, your list should be a bit longer. Ask about how many owners the vehicle has had, if it has been involved in any accidents, how well the vehicle has been maintained, and if any work on essential parts will need to be done on the car in the near future.
Ensure that your chosen vehicle has the safety features that matter most to you
Each family will have their own list of safety features that are most important. And although some have the budget to add every safety feature imaginable, most do not. That’s why it is necessary to list out which features are top priority for your family. Do you need extra child-proofing and space for car seats, or do you need teen driver technology? Other helpful safety features that are of top importance to many buyers include blind spot monitoring, tire pressure monitoring system, curtain airbags, and automated braking. Rather than choosing a vehicle based on its safety rating alone, be sure that it also has the elements that mean the most to you.
When choosing your next family vehicle, following the steps listed above can help you select the safest vehicle for your budget. Aside from these recommendations, always feel free to ask your car dealer for assistance in making the best choice if you need further guidance.