Are Cars Really Getting Safer?
If you follow the trends in automobiles then you are probably already aware of the latest safety features out there. Crash avoidance, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, lane assist, blind spot warning, rear back up cameras, park assist, and driver drowsiness warnings are some of the latest technologies that at least one major insurance company says makes a car safer.
What may surprise you is that many if not all of these technologies is available in 2017 on such a wide selection of automobiles, not just the expensive luxury models. In fact almost every major auto manufacturer offers these features across their model lines.
If you are concerned about car accidents when you purchase an automobile then you probably have seen or been told about the IIHS top safety picks. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a non-government institute funded by auto insurance companies to evaluate automobile safety. Insurance companies use these ratings when calculating your insurance rates.
Evolution of Accident Testing
Many years ago, automobiles were evaluated and rated differently. Over the years, crash tests have changed. Front impact tests have changed from running the test car straight into a barrier, to testing a moderate front offset collision, and now currently testing a small offset collision into a barrier.
As automobiles got safer, just about every new car passed the straight collision testing, but many models had very poor performance in an offset front collision. Research data indicated that most front collisions were not truly “head on”, but offset due to drivers’ natural tendency to try to turn to avoid impact.
Once again as the tests changed, auto makers redesigned their models to pass the new tests. No crash test can provide every real world accident scenario; many manufactures build their cars to not only ace the IIHS tests, but to be safe in a wider range of accident situations.
How does Technology Play a Role in Today’s Testing?
Well an automobile will never receive a top rating if it does not have at least some type of active crash avoidance system. Also current tests evaluate the effective pattern and brightness of an automobiles headlight system. The theory is that an automobile that avoids an accident is always safer than one in an accident, regardless of structural integrity.
Here is a list of the IIHA top safety picks:
Crash Testing in America
Uncle Sam also crash tests automobiles sold in the United States. The agency responsible for this is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
More information about government safety ratings can be found on the NHTSA’s website. Just like the IIHS tests, the NHTSA crash testing and ratings has changed over the years. The NHTSA also tests different accident scenarios, so it is a good idea to compare an automobile’s rating by the IIHS and the NHTSA.
What You Can do to Avoid an Accident
Whether you drive a top safety rated automobile or not, avoiding an accident is ALWAYS the best way to be safe on the road. Your brain can keep you safer than any technology ever will.
Don’t drive too fast for road conditions, stay alert, NEVER TEXT behind the wheel! A good practice is to NEVER drink any alcohol if you are going to be driving, but if you do, always know when to say when. Always wear a seat belt and keep your doors locked.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident due to the negligence of someone else, we want to help. Please give us a call at 863-299-1962.