How safe is the car you drive? If you are in the market for a new car, have you considered the safety features of the models you are interested in purchasing? Auto safety should figure high on your list of necessities. If you have children to transport from place to place, then a vehicle with a high safety rating is that much more important.

The Undisputed Importance of Auto Safety

It is difficult to believe that there was a time when seatbelts were not standard equipment on cars. Now even some school buses have seatbelts due to the increased safety they provide passengers. School buses are very safe and have some of the lowest collision records among all vehicles on the roads. On the other hand, millions of people are injured or killed in auto accidents every year.

New developments in auto safety are slowly changing that picture and that’s very good news. As accidents from distracted driving increase, new safety features have the potential to mitigate those numbers. Car manufacturers continue to add special accident avoidance systems to newer car models.

Highlights of Auto Safety for 2017

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has a hand in helping auto manufacturers make decisions about enhanced auto safety. They also provide a list of vehicles that earn the highest safety ratings. This year 200 cars were evaluated. Of that, 82 received safety awards from IIHS.

In addition to the crash tests the vehicles needed to pass, 2017 saw the addition of new criteria which evaluated headlights. This is an important assessment since night driving can be extremely hazardous. Approximately half of all traffic deaths happen during dawn, dusk or when it is dark. Proper illumination can make a big difference.

Automatic braking systems are also a highlight. Updated ABS systems help prevent or lessen the damage of collisions. Additionally, there are other features that help with crash avoidance such as front crash prevention, lane departure warning systems, back over prevention and automated detection of blind spots.

What the IIHS Ratings Consider

The IIHS ratings take into consideration both the crashworthiness of a vehicle and crash avoidance or mitigation. New advances in crash avoidance and mitigation have the potential to save lives. This technology helps prevent accidents or it reduces the severity of the impact of the crash.

Vehicles are subjected to five tests for crashworthiness. Two of the tests are for front collisions; these include a full frontal collision or moderate overlap front and a partial frontal collision or small overlap front. Side collision is a test given to determine how well a vehicle will stand up to a broadside crash. The head restraint test measures how likely a person would be to get whiplash from a crash and how severe it would be. The roof strength test measures the stability of the roof in the event of a rollover accident.

Crash avoidance and mitigation tests are performed on vehicles which have these systems. Ratings for these vehicles are basic, advanced or superior. The type of system and how it works in the track tests determines how the vehicle is rated. New to 2017 is testing for headlights.

You can see a full list of the vehicles that received top ratings for the IIHS testing on their site. They also include the criteria with which they determine ratings as well as additional information. If you are in the market for a new vehicle and you are concerned about auto safety, check out the IIHS list.

Auto safety is never something that should be taken for granted. Someone’s negligence or inattention can cause a lifetime of pain or even death to others. If you or a loved one has sustained a personal injury, contact Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. law office for a preliminary consultation. You will not be charged for this initial review. Find out how you can be compensated for your losses by speaking with one of our caring attorneys. With offices in Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood, we work with residents in those communities and the surrounding areas.