Since time immemorial, humanity has always strived forward with innovation. We have achieved feats that writers of yore only dreamt of. The car is arguably the most incredible innovation that leveraged the wheel. The inception of vehicles on the road revolutionized transportation. But after numerous incidents, the question finally popped up. “Is it safe?”, “How do we know if it’s safe?”. Sitting inside a metal box going 60-70kmph, which can fatally injure you, requires absolute trust in the vehicle.
Safety is paramount whether you are a seasoned driver or someone who recently learned how to drive. As they say, it’s better to be safe than regret not being safe. The buyer should know a few crash safety assessment tools, though they vary from country to country.
NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is kicking things off with its 5-Star Safety Ratings. Think of these ratings as the Oscars of the car safety world. NHTSA tests vehicles for frontal crashes, side crashes, rollovers, and more, and then they assign a score based on how well the car performs. The more stars, the safer the vehicle. It's like your very own red-carpet guide to car safety.
IIHS Top Safety Pick
Next is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. These folks are all about awarding the safest cars on the road. They evaluate crashworthiness, crash avoidance, and headlights. Earning an IIHS Top Safety Pick is like winning a gold medal in the car safety Olympics. So, if you're into safety with a dash of competition, this is the tool for you.
If you're shopping across the pond in Europe, the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) is your go-to safety tool. They crash-test cars, too, but with a European flair. Euro NCAP provides safety ratings and assessment reports for a wide range of vehicles sold in Europe. So, if you're planning a European road trip or love European car brands, make sure to check them out.
Alright, let's switch gears and talk about Consumer Reports. They're like that trustworthy friend who always has your back. They rate cars on everything from reliability to fuel efficiency and, of course, safety. Their comprehensive and unbiased reviews make it easy for you to find the perfect car that meets your safety standards.
Safety Features Checklist
Now, let's get back to basics. You don't need a fancy organization to tell you how safe a car is. You can be your own car safety detective! Just make a checklist of the safety features that matter most to you. Things like airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) can go a long way in keeping you safe on the road.
Crash Test Dummies (Not the Band!)
Last but not least, you can check out actual crash test videos on YouTube. These videos often feature crash test dummies (not the rock band, sorry!) in action. It's like watching a Hollywood stunt show but with a more serious purpose. Watching these tests gives you a visual sense of how a car performs in a crash, and it helps you make a more informed decision.
These tools, coupled with following road safety, will ensure optimal survivability in the event of a fatality. You can have all the state-of-the-art safety features in a car, but it’s better never to put them into action. Safety isn't something to take lightly, especially when it comes to choosing a car. These tools can help you make a more informed decision and keep you cruising confidently down the road. So, whether you're a thrill-seeker or just looking for a reliable ride, always prioritize safety first.