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Shopping for Auto Safety--Features to Consider

Mar 31, 2016

What specific features do you look for when buying a vehicle? If you're like most auto buyers of the '90s, safety equipment is a major concern. A safe vehicle not only protects you and your family, but can also bring down your auto insurance costs.

When determining the insurance rate for a particular vehicle, insurance companies take into account its design and accident history. Typically, this includes how well the vehicle performs in crash tests and the average cost per year for injuries in that specific car, van, or truck. Vehicles that are considered to be safer than others generally carry a lower insurance premium.

Vehicle safety features to consider:

Size: The most important safety feature of any vehicle is weight. Occupants of large, heavy vehicles suffer fewer and less severe injuries than occupants of small vehicles.

Safety belts: Not all lap/shoulder belts are alike. For example, some feature automatic crash tensioners or belt webbing grabbers, which limit your movement during the first crucial milliseconds of a crash. Also, some belts are more comfortable than others, increasing the likelihood that you'll use them on every outing.

Air bags: Air bags act as a buffer against hard interior surfaces, protecting you and other passengers from many head and chest injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), air bags are responsible for reducing driver fatalities by 11 percent.

Anti-lock brakes:This feature is designed to help you stay in control when braking, especially on wet surfaces. Anti-lock brakes prevent wheels from locking up by automatically pumping the brakes many times per second. Keep in mind that you should never pump anti-lock brakes; let the brakes do the work while you steer.

Besides safety, there are many other factors that contribute to auto insurance costs. For example, vehicles with high theft rates, high-power engines, or lofty repair costs might also increase the premium. Please give us a call before you buy, we'd be glad to determine your insurance rates for the vehicle you have in mind.

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