Car Safety Ratings

Before buying a car, it is an excellent idea to check that it meets all safety standards required. You will be entrusting your life and that of your family to a machine, and you must be confident that your car is safe.

car safety ratings

Car safety ratings are available from the car manufacturer if you are buying a brand new vehicle. Also,  various websites are dedicated to providing information regarding safety ratings. You can get safety information and compare different makes and models of cars. It can be slightly more difficult to get safety ratings if purchasing a used car, but checking online first is a good start. Read the previous consumer reports and in the case of a used vehicle make sure you research to see if any recalls are related to the vehicle you are interested in purchasing.

Ratings are mainly used to determine a car’s crash-worthiness, which refers to the ability of the vehicle to handle different car collision scenarios and protect the passengers inside. These scenarios are created by car manufacturers. For example, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests particular vehicles BUT NOT ALL. Quite often, tests are done on models that are expected to have high sales volumes. It is important to note that not all crash test facilities perform the same types of tests so make sure you are not comparing apples and oranges if you are looking at results across different testing facilities.

There are various types of crash tests that a car is exposed to including rollover, side crash tests, and impact crash tests. In the rollover test, the strength of the car’s roof is evaluated to demonstrate how it would hold up if the car rolled over. The crash test dummy tells us what happens to occupants in the car. The side crash test shows the strength of the body of the car if it gets hit on the side by different sizes of vehicles at different speeds. The impact crash test usually evaluates how the passengers of the vehicle are protected against the force of the crash. Many different types of testing under different circumstances are part of the overall car safety ratings

When You Buy A Car Check The Safety Ratings

Different tests have their own set of ratings that contribute to the overall car safety rating that is published for the public. Every single part of the car is subjected to these tests and rated such as safety belts, car seats, airbags, bumpers, just to mention a few. If any of the parts does not meet the standards, they must be fixed and retested before the car is mass produced.

You can check the car safety ratings from websites such as http://www.safercar.gov/website, where you can search 5-star safety ratings by class, year, make and model of the vehicle. The class of the car refers to whether it is a passenger car, pick-up, Sports Utility Vehicle or van, after which you can choose the year that the particular car was made.

You can also check out the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety website, www.iihs.org. The website provides ratings for vehicles that the Institute has tested, so you should first check the list on the site to see who as the top safety picks and are winners of the ratings. The search result comes with detailed photographs that indicate the results of the different crash tests that the vehicle was subjected to.

Another website that provides even more flexible search options is http://www.howsafeisyourcar.com.au/. This site will allow you to search for safety ratings according to the type of car, the make, and model, as well as compare up to 3 different vehicle’s safety ratings.

If You’re Buying A Used Car, Check To See If The Vehicle Was In An Accident In The Past

If you opt to purchase a used car, you still have to consider the level of safety that the car will provide both for the passengers and other road users. You can use the online resources to check the vehicle’s safety rating, but remember to factor in whether it has been in an accident (ask the seller for a report, in many locations a seller must disclose if a car was in a collision but do not trust a verbal answer, ask for a formal report). If possible assess the quality of the maintenance performed over the life of the car as that will impact safety.

Your car may fit every safety description and meet the budget that you had planned, but keep in mind that the priority is your family. Choose a vehicle that will suit the present and long term needs of your family and guarantee a good level of safety at the same time. The best way to do this is to first understand the car safety ratings associated with your potential purchase and then research any specific characteristics of the vehicle your considering purchasing.

Once you’ve purchases a  vehicle it may be subject to recalls in the future. It is important to provide your contact information to the manufacturer of your car so you will be notified if any recalls are necessary. This may severely impact safety and is an important preventative measure.