Performance, style, size, fuel consumption … Hum ! What about car safety rating ? Should’ntthis be your top criteria in choosing your next vehicle ??
Too often we “fall in love” for a vehicle, its style and looks … its image, Then we look for its ability to meet our needs. One of the most important need should be our safety, particularly in an accident involving a crash.
The quality of vehicle’s “defense” against collision impacts may save your life. No kidding !! A good car safety rating is important ! Let me re-phrase this :it is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL !!
So, one of the first step in evaluating your next buy should be to check the vehicle safety rating. Government agencies in North America and Europe perform, every year, crash tests on a vast selection of makes and models and develop a car safety rating based on a set of standards and criterias. Just ask Carl from Visit Chicago Autohaus who sees a few smashed cars daily how important car safety is. You can see some pictures of the collisions they see on a daily basis on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoAutohaus/
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in USA performs two types of crash tests for safety rating purposes: a full-frontal crash into a rigid barrier at 35 mph, with separate ratings for the driver andfront passenger and a side-impact crash that simulates a vehicle traveling at 17 mph being hit in the side by a 3,000-pound car traveling at 34 mph. A five-star car safety rating (highest score) indicates the best protection of occupants from serious injury.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in USA takes a different approach called the offset-frontal test. In the IIHS tests, only 40 percent of the vehicle’s driver’s side front hits the barrier, which is deformable, rather than rigid, so that it crumples as another car might. Tests are conducted at 40 mph, rather than 35 mph, because IIHS researchers determined that the higher speed allows the offset crash to cover real-world crashes, including those where a collapsing vehicle structure contributes to injury.
In Europe, the Euro NCAP also supports the offset-crash testing for the same reasons.Of all the 2002 makes and models tested the following came on top of the car safety rating charts provided by the NCAP experts :
The information on car safety is improving and is more and more credible. A good car safety rating is a crucial part in the evaluation of your next buy, be it used or new. Do yourself a favor, select your next vehicle with the safety of your family in mind.