Firm Logo

Safety Factors to Consider when Shopping for a New Vehicle

By: Anapol Weiss

When shopping for a new vehicle, bearing in mind safety performance is important for individuals and families alike. Below are a few factors to consider when selecting a new vehicle.

Weight Matters

Typically, a heavier vehicle will provide more protection. The most important safety features are those that reduce forces imposed on the body in the event of a collision. These components can be the structure of the vehicle itself – if it is designed to resist intrusion into driver and passenger areas in all modes of impact, including frontal, side, rear and rollover.

Not All Restraints are Created Equal

Also important are the vehicle’s restraints, which include:

  • Seat belts

  • Airbags

  • Seats

  • Headrests

  • Doors

These features should be designed to keep the occupant close to the seat in a crash. Not all seat belts are created equal. Some belt systems are integrated into the seats, while others are anchored to the vehicle’s floor. How closely the belt is to the occupant has an effect on how quickly and safely it restrains the occupant in certain crashes. Some belt systems contain retractors which simply lock in place when an accident occurs.

Crash Test Ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates vehicles each year based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests in addition to evaluations of seat and head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

To qualify for a 2016 Top Safety Pick, a vehicle must earn good ratings in five tests: small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints – in addition to a basic rating for front crash prevention. Checking out the IIHS Top Safety Picks can give a buyer good insights into which vehicles have the best design with safety in mind.

When Design Defects Cause Death or Injury

Contact Anapol Weiss for assistance if you suspect a safety feature in your vehicle failed during a collision. Our experienced lawyers can investigate the situation and get the answers you need.