Safety Features To Look For When Buying A Vehicle

Safety Features To Look For When Buying A Vehicle bb3 Dec 2, 2010

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

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New vehicle or old, you can't always avoid a crash. That's why it makes sense, when the time comes, to choose a vehicle that helps protect you. Here's a checklist of items to look for when you're talking to your dealer or strolling on the lot.

Adaptive Front Airbags

These airbag systems take into account the occupant's seating position and seat belt use to determine the amount of force used to deploy the airbag.

Side-Impact Curtain Airbags

These airbags can provide both head and torso protection in a side-impact collision.

Head Restraints and Seat Design

It's important that seats and head restraints work together to support your head and body during a crash. A head restraint of poor design that is improperly adjusted provides little protection. What's more, if it's not adjusted properly, it won't protect you from whiplash. Make sure the vehicle's head restraint can be adjusted to fit directly behind your head, and that the top of the restraint can be positioned somewhere between the top of your ears and the top of your head. Some vehicles — most Volvos and Saabs, for example — even offer head restraints that automatically adjust when the seat is adjusted.

An Electronic Stability Control System

This kind of system is an extension of antilock brake technology that helps drivers regain control in dangerous situations. This safety feature lowers the risk of a fatal single-car crash by about 50 percent and a fatal rollover crash by as much as 80 percent.

A Lower Anchors And Tethers For Children (LATCH) System

If you have a young child who will be riding in the vehicle, a LATCH System is a must. LATCH Systems provide owners with a simpler way to secure child seats in vehicles. While most vehicles manufactured since 2002 are equipped with LATCH Systems, it's worth asking before you buy — especially if you know you'll be using a child seat.

Seat Belts With Pretensioners

This provides a locking mechanism that engages the seat belt when the brake is applied or the vehicle comes to a sudden stop.

And A Few More Features To Look For

You may have already heard of these features, but it's still a good idea to keep them in mind.

  • Anti-Lock Brakes
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Traction Control
  • Rollover Prevention
  • Emergency Brake Assist
  • GPS/Emergency Response

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