Don’t Forget About Safety When Purchasing a New Vehicle

Written By Angelina Umstead

Purchasing a new (or used) vehicle is usually an exciting time. However, it can be overwhelming with all of the different makes and models of vehicles out there, let alone the different features and options to choose from once you decide on a particular make and model. Safety features are an important aspect of buying any vehicle that can sometimes be overlooked. That is why it is so important to do some of your own safety research before you head to a dealership to make sure you are making informed choices when purchasing a vehicle. Luckily, there are some great online resources available to help speed up this process and give you the knowledge you need to make the choice best suited for you and your situation.

Online Auto-Safety Resources

Once you have settled on a particular make and model of a vehicle that you are interested in, check out what the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has to say about it. This organization oversees automobile safety and provides vehicles with ratings based on crash testing that has been performed. The IIHS has a ratings tab at the top of the website where you can plug in your specific vehicle information. The IIHS will then generate a “crashworthiness” report for the vehicle so you can whether it has been rated good, acceptable, marginal, or poor. Crashworthiness means how well the vehicle will withstand in the event of a crash. This can be an invaluable resource in your search for a safe and reliable vehicle.

Another great online resource is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This website allows you to check for recalls on specific vehicles. Remember that the dealership may not necessarily disclose recalls associated with the vehicle you are purchasing, so it is important to do your own research on this topic and be aware of any recalls before you buy. This website also has a ton of helpful information regarding general road safety and tips for dealing with high risk drivers.

Other useful online resources are Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds. These sites can provide you with a car’s value as well as rankings and customer reviews. It is helpful to see what other consumers who have actually purchased the vehicle you are looking at have to say about it. Consumer reviews provide a different perspective on a vehicle that might not be readily apparent to you in the short amount of time you have to test drive a vehicle before purchasing.

Standard and Additional Safety Features

When you are satisfied that you found the perfect make and model vehicle for you, it is important to understand what safety features the vehicle comes equipped with. Some safety features may come standard and some may be additional options you can add at the time of purchase. Remember, if you are purchasing an older vehicle, it may not have the safety equipment available that newer vehicles feature. If you are purchasing a vehicle manufactured within the last 20 years, it is probably a safe bet that seatbelts and airbags will come as standard safety features. However, many newer vehicles manufactured within the last 5 years come with more advanced safety features like lane keep assist and lane departure warnings. There is also other crash avoidance and mitigation technology, like front crash prevention, that may be available but is not always standard on every vehicle. Keep this in mind if this is something that is important to you in your new vehicle.

Atlee Hall is dedicated to helping keep people safe on the roads. If you or someone you know has been involved in a crash, Atlee Hall has decades of experience in evaluating the crashworthiness of the vehicles involved. Do not hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.