How Car Safety Has Improved Over The Years

Published: 11th May 2011
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Driving the safest car you can afford will not only bring you peace of mind but lower car insurance rates as well. The best car insurance companies are willing to reward you for investing wisely in a new car with as many safety features as possible. Today auto safety is not only focused on helping you survive an accident, although new 2011 car design has improved in that area, but it is also about preventing accidents before they happen, which means protecting passengers and anyone else near the vehicle.

In the past, only high-end vehicles came equipped with additional safety components and in many cases, those were not standard but had to be specially ordered and paid for. Today, it is no longer the biggest, most expensive vehicle that is guaranteed to be the safest. In fact, a small and lightweight Mini Countryman Crossover 2011 car recently won the 5-star top rating from the New Car Assessment Programme’s (NCAP) crash testing. Larger and heavier, luxurious vehicles are no longer always the safest ones on the road, and that’s good news for those of us who can’t afford them anyway.

One of the most critical features that contributes to the ability of a vehicle to keep its passengers safe is its structural integrity. Improvements in building a lighter but stronger, more tensile steel frame have resulted in a protective cocoon for those inside the car. Deformation zones actively delay the level of impact and push it towards "crumple zones" rather than into contact with the passengers. Add shock absorbing interiors, reinforced roofing, protective pillars and roll bars and you have a much safer steel cage that is built to withstand high impact without crushing the people inside. Since a big piece of car insurance goes toward possible accident injury to those riding in the car, car insurance companies may bring down your premium price because you have bought a vehicle with better passenger protection.

Seat belts and air bags have also been improved in the newer 2011 models. The 3-point inertia reel or smart tension seatbelts keep passengers in place, even during a collision. They also adjust according to the outside sensor arrays. Airbags are not just for the driver. Passenger front and side bags are now built to deploy in gradual stages with less impact and chemicals that do not burn your skin. Some vehicles even include rollover airbags and airbag curtains for complete body protection.

The ability to avoid accidents completely is a newer, innovative approach that several car manufacturers are addressing. As the Volvo people proudly like to announce, "No one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems designed to prevent rollovers complement anti-lock braking systems (ABS), automatic reduced speed and braking systems (ESC), traction control and tire pressure monitors. Lane departure avoidance equipment and rear-end collision prevention technology is new to the market but very promising.

When asking for free car insurance quotes for your new vehicle, make sure you tell the agent all the safety features that were standard or added to your car. It could save you money in the long run.

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