In Buying Cars, Think Safety First

By: Jennifer Dylan

There are several things that need to be considered in purchasing cars. It means weighing lots of factors like style, features, options, performance, color, auto parts, and more. But then again, one of the most important factors is overlooked and that is - safety. More often than not, safety is found at the bottom of the purchasers list of considerations.

How did the vehicle carry out crash tests? What are its features that contribute to the safety of its occupants? These queries are essential in making a car purchase. This is because life of the occupants is the most important thing to be considered.

When thinking of safety, purchasers must also think of Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and advanced air bags. In one of the studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it found out that ESC decreases fatalities in a single-vehicle crash by more than 50 percent. It also reduces likelihood of a rollover accident by 80 percent. Moreover, it is estimated that 10,000 fatal crashes can be prevented annually if every vehicle is equipped with ESC.

ESC is the generic name for the systems, which are designed to boost handling of the vehicle. This is especially essential in controlling limits where the driver might lose control. Said vehicle device uses computer sensors to monitor the vehicle. These sensors detect when to reduce acceleration and brake to let the driver focus on steering.

Advanced airbags, on one hand, protect the occupants in cases of bumps and collisions. All air bags are not the same. Some focus on the protection of chest and abdomen. Other airbags focus on the head. Those that come with head protection are the better kind. This is because the chances of being killed with those airbags drop by 37 percent.

"Most manufacturers are moving to curtain-style side air bags," says Russ Rader, a spokesman for the institute. "They protect the driver and the front seat passenger as well as the passengers in the rear seat."

Side curtain airbags are standard on the 2007 Honda Fit. These airbags are integrated to without compromising the efficiency of the vehicle. In addition, this type of airbag is an option on Toyota Yaris. are upgraded to include these significant airbags for a safe and comfy ride. The mentioned subcompact vehicles are sold at less that $20,000.

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