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We assume, when buying a car, all one needs to be specific about is the performance, power and comfort.  Wrong! There is another very important aspect which unfortunately a lot of people neglect – safety features. A car is supposed to protect you in case you are involved in a crash. According to statistics, more than 50 percent deaths in accidents happen because of inadequate in-car safety measures.

For example, the impact of collision might not actually be strong enough to cause the car to roll off the road or to go into somersaults to cause death. But it might be strong enough for a person to be jerked forward, get hit on the chest by the steering, bang his head on the dashboard or worse, crash out of the windshield and break more than a few ribs. Now, what if the person had been wearing a seatbelt and an air bag would instantly pop on the steering when impacted? His injuries would only be minor and his ribs would definitely thank him. Get the point?

Manufacturers do provide in built “active safety” measures. In case your car does not come equipped with them, you can ask the car dealer for a car with at-least the following features, before you buy the car:

Seatbelts – click them on

Seatbelt is the most basic and powerful protection which you can have within a car. It helps in more than one way. For one, it keeps you rooted in your seat so that you are not thrown out of the car. Modern seatbelts come in different forms such as adjustable upper seatbelts which lends more comfort to the shoulder belt, seatbelt pre-tensioner which can be used to reduce slack and keep the belt comfortably tight, tear stitching which prevents the seatbelt from slackening drastically on impact and load limiters which prevents too much pressure coming on to your chest. Rear seatbelts should also be used for protection of the people seated at the back.

Antilock brake system

Panic braking is the leading cause for accidents. Although antilock brakes cannot prevent a crash, but they give the driver better control of the steering during accidents and prevent the car from skidding uncontrollably. The system should be provided on all the wheels for better protection. For a car which has the protection on only two wheels, the system is provided for the rear ones. More advanced systems come with emergency breaks. These are equipped with sensors and stop the car if they sense impact.

Airbags

Airbags can directly save lives. They pop out on the steering and prevent severe injuries to the chest since they absorb the force of impact. However, airbags are fully effective only when you wear seatbelt. Airbags are not sturdy enough to break the force of impact on their own. They do provide strong protection when your chest jerks forward more slowly because of the tearing stitch and load limiters in the seatbelt.

Others

Besides these three major car safety equipment, you can have foam lining on the interiors which prevent injuries in case your head hits hard against them, head restraints, electronic stability control, traction control and all-wheel drive. It is also important to note that heavier cars are more stable when compared to lightweight cars, which is a protection by itself. Safe driving!

 

Guest contribution:

This post was contributed by Mike Fischer, who would like to write for more automotive blogs, websites and newsletters. He is currently promoting UnoCarDealers as a platform for buying and selling cars. He can be contacted at MikeFischer620 [at] yahoo [dot] com with requests for automotive content.