When you’re in the market for a safe family car, it’s important to know that you’re buying a car that’s safe on the roads, and well-equipped enough to protect you from injury in the event of a crash.
That said, there are a wide range of things that you should look for to make sure you’re buying with confidence. So to help you do just that, we’ve put together a few tips on what to look for in a safe family car.
You Need ABS & ESC
ABS stands for ‘antilock braking system’, and this is a particularly important safety feature in any car. With ABS in place, you’ll be able to retain more control over your vehicle if you need to suddenly brake hard – you’re far less likely to spin out or skid during a hard stop, as your wheels are prevented from locking up. This can help you avoid getting involved in a car accident, even if there’s a short distance between the cars in front of and behind you.
ESC stands for ‘electronic stability control.’ This feature helps a driver maintain control of their car while taking corners. It does so by using sensors that can tell when your car is losing control, and then applying selectively applying brakes to help you maintain stability. This feature could come in especially useful if you’re driving in icy conditions and you start to lose grip during a turn, for example.
One thing to note with ESC, however, is that it also relies on how well your tires grip to the road. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your car’s tires have a sturdy grip, rather than being worn down in places.
ABS and ESC have come as standard since September 1st 2013, and many modern cars have them as standard regardless. Make sure to check for this feature in older models when you’re hunting for a safe family car.
Positive crash test ratings
While you might be fortunate enough to avoid any car accident during the lifetime of your vehicle, no matter how safe a driver you are, it’s important that you consider your safety, and your passengers’, when you’re on the road.
For that reason, buying a car that’s performed well in crash tests is crucial, as they can help minimize the risk of serious injury to anyone in your vehicle during a car crash.
These tests mostly involve crashing into a car from different directions, while human-sized dummies are inside. The people performing the test will then review all the collected data on what exactly happened to the car during the crash, and how it affected the passengers inside. Tests might look for information such as how well a car’s front crumple zone absorbed the impact from the collision, how responsive a car’s airbags are, and how collision from different directions affect passengers.
If you’re looking for some good benchmark information on new safe cars, the IIHA frequently publishes top safety picks on their website.
Research any used cars
Used cars are often an attractive prospect when looking to make a purchase, as they’re often noticeably more affordable. However, this could be a bit of a double-edged sword:
- How many miles are on the engine?
- When did the car last get new tires?
- When was the last maintenance checkup?
There are plenty of questions you should ask when buying a used car, and doing your due diligence will help reassure you that you’re buying a safe family car that’s still in good shape.
Consider how old the used car is. If it’s quite a few years old, it could be missing some of the more modern safety features that now comes as standard, such as ABS. consideration is that the used car in question might be on a recall list, such as if that model has an airbag issue that requires fixing by the manufacturer. If you weren’t aware of the recall, you could be at greater risk while driving.