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Buying a car? Make sure it’s a safe one

Car accidents are some of the most frequent causes of serious personal injuries. Aside from never stepping into a car, odds are you’ll be in at least one minor car accident in your lifetime. So how can you know if the vehicle you’re in is truly as safe as can be?

It’s not as simple as driving the biggest truck (though, to be honest, that’s not a bad way to look for a safe car). In fact, there are four factors to consider when trying to buy a safe car, according to a recent report by the New York Daily News.

Want a safe car? Look at these four factors

According to the report, new car buyers interested in safety should consider the following:

  • Vehicle weight: It’s basic physics, but the heavier your vehicle is, the better. But for many prospective car shoppers, this isn’t always the end of the argument, as heavier vehicles consume more gas and may end up costing more in the long run.
  • Crashworthiness: Researching a car’s crash test rating is a good place to start. Both The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conduct crash tests, with the NHTSA using a five-star rating system, while the IIHS awards the coveted “Top Safety Pick” ratings.
  • Center of gravity: This can matter when evaluating whether or not a car has more protection against rollovers. Some publications, like Car and Driver, provide rollover ratings and other information regarding center of gravity.
  • Safety equipment: While airbags and seatbelts have are mandatory and have been so for years, many newer vehicles have extra safety equipment that can help drivers avoid sustaining injuries, including collision warning systems, automatic emergency breaking, and more.

While these four factors are important (and can be a lot to consider), another good rule of thumb is to simply buy newer. Newer vehicles should have more safety equipment and should be better protected against collisions and serious accidents.

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