When it comes to buying a car, there are a lot of things you’d look out for. The model and make you want, what color you want it in, what condition should it be in, and of course, whether it would fit into your budget.
But for all the things you remember to account for before buying the car, there’s one factor you may forget, or even ignore as unimportant. While worrying about safety may seem a bother, it should be one of the first things you look for in a car. Here are 9 things you need to look out for when it comes to safety in cars:
The importance of having strong seatbelts in your vehicle cannot be overstated. Many a passenger has suffered terrible injuries which could have been avoided had he taken the time to put on his seatbelt as soon as he got into his car.
While you can rest easy if you’ve bought a new car, since those always have perfectly working seatbelts, you should be wary of used cars since their seatbelts may not be in the best of conditions.
While we hope you never have to see an airbag up close, forgoing this handy safety feature would be like signing your own death warrant.
Besides, airbags are one protections feature you won’t find an eyesore, since they’re fitted inside your dashboard and completely out of sight.
- A proper head restraint
Many people don’t consider checking if the head restraint is functional or adjustable when they buy the car, mostly because they don’t see it as a safety feature. True, it can double as a headrest, but that isn’t its real purpose; preventing serious whiplash if your car gets struck from behind.
Therefore, you need to make sure your head restraint is functional and adjust it accordingly to your height the first time you drive the car. After that, just leave it as it is, no need to fidget with it like the seatbelt.
- Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
Familiar with under steering and over steering? Both occur when you’re the wheels of your car lock in an unfavorable position, causing you to lose control of your car and have it go in a different direction than the one you’d want.
Although the ABS system can’t prevent this from happening since its usually the driver’s fault, it can certainly sense when your wheels are about to lock and applies the brakes to try to slow it down regardless of the driver’s own reaction speed. Certainly, a must-have feature.
- Bumper guard
The best car bumper guards do more than just absorb 90% of the impact of a car crash (though that should be enough reason to invest in them). They also protect your car from accidental damage when you bump your car into a pole while reversing and save you a new paint job by protecting your car’s rear from careless bystanders.
- Traction control
If you’re in the habit of applying a little too much power when driving, it would be a mistake not to invest in a car with traction control.
It is a system that monitors the amount your wheels can slip by adjusting braking force to specific wheels at a time, resulting in a smoother drive and no unexpected drifts in your journey.
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Another fail-safe against the dreaded understeer and oversteering, having an electronic stability control could mean the difference between life and death in scenarios where you lose steering control of your car.
It works by automatically sensing when a car is about to veer off the road and spin out situations where, under normal circumstances, no matter how hard you try to correct your steering you can’t get your car back on track in time before it crashes. By automatically applying the brake to a single wheel, the ESC system can greatly reduce the risk of your car spinning too far out, saving you from crashing into the sidewalk.
Physics 101. A body with a larger mass will gain less speed if it collides with a moving body with a significantly smaller mass, then it would have if it collided with a moving body of the same speed.
Put in the context of cars, a heavier car would mean collisions from other cars won’t be able to push it too hard, thus saving it from a lot of potential damage.
- Good tires
Remember all the benefits of the ABS, ESC system and Traction control system? Well, chuck all of that out of the window if you don’t have proper tires.
No matter how good your brakes are, no matter how well you drive, if you’re riding a car with poor tires, then the only destination you’d most certainly arrive to is death.