Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or just looking to switch brands, it’s essential to be aware of the safety features available on different models. Here are eight tips to help you start shopping for a new car that fits your needs and keeps you safe on the road.
1- Take a Brake Test Before Driving Off the Lot
Before you fall in love with a car and sign the paperwork, take it for a test drive and see how well its brakes hold up when applied at moderate speeds. You should also make sure you can comfortably reach all the car’s controls and that you’re not too cramped in the front seat.
2- See if Electronic Stability Control is Available
Electronic stability control (ESC) helps a car maintain balance on turns, slippery roads, or when going over an object on the road. ESC can prevent or reduce a car’s likelihood of skidding or even tip over, preventing rollover accidents. ESC can aid in braking and steering control, so keeping both hands on the wheel when driving is essential. This is also known as anti-lock brakes (ABS), which you should make sure are available on your new car purchase.
3- Check Your Car’s to Make Sure You Can See Straight Ahead
To test your car’s side-view mirrors, pull up next to another vehicle at a red light. Your car should allow you to see the back of that car in both rearview mirrors, which will help if someone tries to pass you on the road or change lanes quickly.
4- Test Backup Cameras If Available
Cars are getting better and better at avoiding collisions, but you’ll still want to take precautions when reversing out of a parking spot or driveway. Look for cars that have backup cameras available as an option. These can reduce accidents by allowing drivers to see oncoming traffic when backing up, keeping your family safe on the road.
5- Learn About Daytime Running Lights
Daytime running lights (DRL) are available on more cars these days and can be highly beneficial. These headlights automatically come on when the car is started; they’re usually brighter than standard headlights to make your car stand out against other vehicles’ headlamps at night. DRLs will help other drivers see you in an emergency, like when you’re on the side of the road or trying to get out of a dangerous area.
6- Look at Safety Ratings Before Buying
You can find safety ratings for many cars online, helping you compare different models’ crash test results before making your final purchase. You can also check for recalls to ensure that any potential safety issues have been fixed.
7- Inspect the Car’s Interior for Passenger Safety
Ensure the car’s interior doesn’t interfere with driver or passenger safety in a crash. This means checking that seat belts are adequately secured and that you can reach all the doors’ handles comfortably. Be sure to take advantage of any extra safety features, like side curtain airbags, if available.
8- Check the Hood for Leaks
Driving a car with an engine leak can damage your vehicle or even cause an accident. To check the hood, pop it open and see if you spot any fluid leaking onto the engine. This helps you avoid potential problems and ensures your car’s safety on the road.
Checking those eight factors now may make a big difference when you’re out on the road, so keep them in mind as you shop for your new car.