There are various factors that go into selecting a vehicle for personal use. Some people like the specific make or model, others desire a higher miles-per-gallon number, while a third group chooses their car based on horsepower. However, one thing everyone can agree on is safety, and that any car anybody buys needs to be safe. There have been several car brands that have built a reputation of being safe, and in this article, you will find out which specific makes and models have built that reputation and how.
Although advancements in the automotive industry have decreased occurrences of traffic fatalities to record lows in the past few years, motor vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of death for young individuals. A vehicle-related fatality occurs once every 16 minutes on average, and 32,885 people died in motor vehicle crashes during 2010. Statistics like this led to a Consumer Report survey that stated 65 percent of buyers said that safety was their top priority. Seventy four percent of women rank this specific factor at the top of their lists.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a non-profit organization funded by the insurance industry, uses the following criteria to award the highly sought Top Safety Pick award:
· Front crash tests (dummies wearing regular seat belts measuring crash forces to the chest, head, and legs)
· Side-impact tests (a moving barrier hits the vehicles from the side at 31 mph)
· Rollover protection (roof crush tests that must withstand a force of four times the weight of the vehicle before reaching crush depth)
· Rear-end collisions (crash test dummies that are tested for neck injuries)
· Blind-spot warning (sensors on the side and rear of vehicles that alert the driver to the presence of something in their blind-spot)
· Lane departure warning (an embedded camera that tells the driver of lane travel)
· Collision warning/avoidance (sonar sensors that maintain a set speed and distance from the nearest vehicle)
Volvo has long been a “paragon of car safety.” Historically, the car brand has always emphasized safety and that the company’s primary concern was the safety of all drivers. Modern models, like XC60, have a laser system feature that detects traffic ahead in the road and slows down automatically to avoid any collision. The car also has rollover sensors, blind spot and lane departure warning, as well as hill descent control and an advanced steering wheel that leads to faster response by emergency brakes.
The Fiesta model has passed rigorous crash tests to earn itself a high safety ranking. Besides the standard air bag, it has a side curtain inflator, driver’s knee bag, and various other airbags to prevent injury. The body is made out of a light but strong material that received high marks for its roof durability.
Japanese cars have also experienced high safety grades. Well known for their design, these cars have also included adaptive headlamps, blind spot monitoring, collision warning, and lane departure warning. The best example is the Civic, which is not only affordable, but extremely safe for the driver and pedestrians as well. The body allows for its windshield wiper and hood structure to deform more in order to prevent injury to involved parties.
The Sonata earned 5 stars from IIHS due to its standard airbags, side curtains for rear and front seats, electronic brake force distribution, and brake assist.
Jeep Grand Cherokee has been called “the safest car in America” due to its 4-wheel antilock braking system, road detection, side curtain airbags, side thorax airbags, roll mitigation, and a drive system that detects terrain and allows for a smoother drive in rain, snow, and mud.
This article was written by Vito Sanchez, a mechanical engineering student who loves combining his engineering knowledge with his passion for cars. He writes this on behalf of S&S Legal Group, your number one choice when looking for representation for cases involving Car Accidents. For aggressive representation with maximum compensation, make sure to check them out!