Price, model, color and features are some of the main items on a car buyer’s checklist. Often overlooked, however, is the vehicle’s safety. Before making a final decision, keep the following tips in mind.
What You Should Look for When Purchasing a Vehicle
1. Crash Test Ratings
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides consumers the ability to compare crash test safety ratings through its 5-Star Safety Rating program. NHTSA's website makes it easy. You can search for model years 1990 through 2010 or model years 2011 and newer. The difference is that starting in 2011, their rating score system became more rigorous.
Another resource that consumers can turn to is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Its website provides an analysis of two factors. One is crashworthiness (protection of occupants in the event of an accident), and the other is crash avoidance and mitigation (technology that can lessen severity or prevent an accident).
2. Risk of Rollover
Rollovers often cause incapacitating or fatal injuries. Certain types of vehicles (such as SUVs and pickup trucks) are prone to these types of crashes, especially during bad weather. NHTSA's website also provides a 5-Star Safety rating system based rollover likelihood. It’s called the Rollover Resistance Rating (RRR). This will help show which vehicles have a greater likelihood of rolling over in an accident.
3. Child Safety Seats
Sometimes a vehicle is incompatible with a child’s car seat. It’s important to know the vehicle’s recommendations and the manufacturer’s instructions on correct installation of the seat. Keep in mind that while newer vehicles may have the universal LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), it doesn’t always properly secure the seat.
Dual front airbags are required by law in newer vehicles. Some come with side airbags as well. Because of the risk of injury caused by the force of deployment, the government required advanced front airbags to be phased into vehicles starting in 2004. These deploy with less force.
Although every effort could be made to ensure the vehicle being purchased is safe, things sometimes go wrong. Defects can lead to a recall. But if someone is injured as a result, it may allow for compensation through a product liability claim. Call the Miley Legal Group if you’ve been injured in a car accident caused by a manufacturer defect: 304-931-4088.