Car safety is an absolute necessity for drivers; it should be an absolute right for passengers. Vehicular accidents are the number one killer globally, claiming over a million people's lives annually. They are also the leading cause of the death of children, particularly in ages 3-19. Many safety features, such as seat belts, have existed for decades, but it only lately that people have universally begun to use them (air bags, to give another example, are deployed far more often, and with more safety, these days than previously).
The one thing every driver needs to know, is the safety of the vehicle they are driving. This information is found on numerous car safety ratings websites, such as Cars.com. Anyone concerned with safety issues about the make, model and year of automobile they are using should visit one of these sites, as soon as possible, to discover not only the car safety rating for your vehicle, but the listings for the safest cars on the market.
There are different methods used to determine car safety. The first is the crash test. In the crash test, vehicles are deliberately wrecked against a hard object (such as a pillar) in order to determine the variables involved in a crash with that particular model, and the chances of the occupants of the car walking away from the wreckage unharmed.
It is worth noting that fewer new cars are giving Good to Best ratings in crash testings; their particular weakness seems to lie in their ratings for Roof-strength (will the roof cave in if the vehicle rolls, for instance). Check your newer vehicle against these listings to see if it possesses this weakness.
Another method of determining vehicular safety is the vehicle safety recall. There are a number of websites that will tell you if your vehicle has a recall because of defective equipment, a reflexive action that creates an undesirable effect (the accelerator sticking at certain speeds, for example, a situation that has more than once proved deadly), or a particular body part or feature that is deemed hazardous. When you visit the website, youll be prompted to enter year, make and model of your vehicle; it will let you know if you have anything to worry about.
Other safety features that are important include anti-lock brakes (on icy roads, these are a necessity) and electronic stability control, a recent feature that modifies the "drift" of a vehicle. Obviously, if you are carrying children you'll want to seat them legally and properly, in anchored, tethered seats especially designed for infants and youngsters.
Finally, a visit to the website for Consumer Reports.org will yield excellent information, as this website pulls no punches as far as rating the safety, or hazards, of any particular make or model on the road. Their website includes extensive safety comparisons, worst case scenarios and a complete run-down of your own vehicle's safety ratings.
So use all your features, and know your safety information. Car safety could turn out to be a life-saver for you and your passengers.