car safety features

Understanding Crash Test Ratings and Modern Vehicle Safety Features

car safety features

When you look at buying a new or pre-owned car, there are several factors to consider that are more important than the color or style of the vehicle. Aside from a car’s appearance, knowing that you and your passengers will be safe in the event of an accident should be one of the top considerations.

Safety organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have various methods and procedures for crash testing vehicles. They consider safety gear like seat belts, air bags and antilock brakes as well as how the vehicle protects passengers in a crash.

Not all cars behave or perform in the same way when involved in an accident, making thorough crash testing instrumental in the car industry.

What Criteria Is Tested that Affects a Car’s Overall Safety Rating?

  • Frontal and side-impact crash tests: Lab simulations of head-on or side-impact collisions
  • Rollover resistance test: Determines a vehicle’s center of gravity using a lab measurement called the Static Stability Factor and a dynamic rollover test
  • Roof strength: Tests how well a vehicle’s roof will perform in a rollover crash by forcing a metal plate onto the roof, crushing it by exactly five inches (the more force required, the more likely the roof will perform well)
  • Rear-impact protection: Rates how the design of a vehicle’s seats and head restraints can reduce whiplash injury in a rear-end collision
  • Accident avoidance: Braking and emergency handling are key factors while testing a vehicle’s accident-avoidance capability
  • Rear blind zones: Larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs have bigger blind spots that can make it difficult to see while backing up

What Recommended Safety Features Should all Modern Vehicles Have?

It is because of crash data, safety ratings and technological advancement that additional safety features are added to newer vehicles. As manufacturers develop and build new cars, safety is one of their top priorities. Many pre-owned vehicles sold by Easterns Automotive include these recommended safety features.

  • Head-protecting airbags: Aside from frontal airbags, curtain air bags that deploy from above the windows prevent drivers and their passengers from hitting their heads or being ejected from the windows.
  • Antilock brake system: This system is designed to prevent the wheels from locking up under hard braking conditions, which helps prevent sliding or spinning.
  • Driver assistance: A car that is fully controlled by a driver (not automated) can also be equipped with numerous assistance features like blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning. These systems are designed to prevent some accidents that might be caused by driver inattention or slow reaction times, increasing a vehicle’s accident-avoidance rating.
  • Electronic stability control (ESC): Vehicles manufactured in 2011 or later are required to have ESC to reduce spinouts if a driver loses control of the car. It may also help prevent a top-heavy vehicle from rolling over.
  • Rearview (or backup) cameras: When a vehicle is put in reverse, the backup camera reveals any objects that are directly behind the car on a screen, usually in the dashboard middle console. This gives drivers a clear view of what’s behind their vehicle and can reduce the occurrence of back-over accidents.

Find a Top-Rated Pre-Owned Vehicle in Maryland or Virginia

At Easterns Automotive, we understand there are a lot of important decisions to make when buying a newer car. We sell many recent model year pre-owned vehicles that are equipped with must-have safety features like ESC and driver assistance.

Our friendly customer care team can help make your car buying experience easy and memorable — no matter how you choose to do it. Whether you purchase your vehicle completely online, in-person or a combination of both, you can count on Easterns to show you why we earned an over 97 percent customer approval rating. Browse our inventory online and learn more about how we can help you find your dream car by calling us at 877-867-0641.

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