Soccer practice, dinner, the beach, the store – wherever you’re going, there’s a good chance you’re getting there by car. Driving is probably the most dangerous thing you do every day, so when you pile your family in the car, you want to make sure it’s the safest ride possible.
New safety technologies to consider
Advancements have made cars safer than ever. When selecting a family car, consider new technologies that improve safety. One of the most important developments may be automatic emergency braking systems, which use sensors to detect obstacles in the road and apply the brakes. In some cases, automatic braking systems can prevent crashes. In others, they reduce the speed to decrease the severity of the crash.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that 20 automakers have agreed to make the feature standard by September 1, 2022. This means that more than 99 percent of cars in the U.S. market will have the feature.
Other features also represent important safety advancements. Lane departure warning systems, for example, help prevent accidents by alerting drivers when they are drifting into another lane. Backup cameras use video systems to show the area behind the car when the driving is reversing. This can prevent driving from accidentally backing up over children, as well as pets and various items. As of as 2018, the NHSTA is requiring backup cameras in all new vehicles.
Family cars with the safest ratings
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the safety of cars based on several criteria. To be a Top Safety Pick+, the car must earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests, have advanced or superior front crash prevention and have good or acceptable headlights.
The NHTSA also conducts tests and provides safety ratings on cars. The five-star rating system is based on overall safety, frontal crashes, side crashes and rollovers.
Consumer Reports provides information on cars that come with advanced safety systems, such as automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning and rearview cameras.
These are some of the large cars and SUVs from 2016 and 2017 that earned excellent ratings from both the IIHS and the NHTSA and feature standard automatic emergency braking according to Consumer Reports.
- 2017 Genesis G80
- 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class 4-door sedan
- 2016 Acura RLX 4-door FWD
- 2017 Toyota Highlander
- 2017 Acura MDX
- 2016 Volvo XC60
- 2016 Volvo XC90
This is just the short list. Other vehicles may also have excellent ratings and standard safety systems including automatic emergency braking. The addition of optional safety features can also make a huge difference. Before buying any vehicle, check its safety ratings and ask about advanced safety systems.
Choosing a safe car is important. However, a car is only as safe as its driver. Don’t drive while texting or engaging in other distractions. Make sure all child seats are properly installed and that everyone is wearing a seat belt. Also make sure you have comprehensive auto insurance. Get a quote here.