Drivers throughout Texas know that auto accidents happen with alarming frequency. Thousands deaths and injuries occur on Fort Worth roads every year. Drivers are right to be concerned about their safety whenever they get behind the wheel. Researching safety features can help car buyers make better choices when they purchase a vehicle, and those choices can make the difference between life and death in a car accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that new vehicles offer the best chances of surviving a car accident, and that the odds of survival incrementally decrease with each model year. The Australasian New Car Assessment Program reports similar findings in Australia and New Zealand.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducted a study which examined the safety of different vehicle models. Large vehicles were consistently found to be safer than small vehicle models. It is also worth noting that sport utility vehicles with four wheel drive were found to be safer than their two wheel drive counterparts. The IIHS study also found that backup cameras can be useful in reducing the risk of collision, and had an even greater effect on reducing crashes for drivers aged seventy and above. This was thought to be related to the difficulty older drivers may have with judging distances or turning around to check blind spots.
Using the Data to Craft an Effective Car Buying Strategy
The results of these studies indicate that the safest car buying policy is to buy a new, large vehicle every model year. While this policy is sound in theory, it's not a practical solution for the vast majority of car buyers. Instead, car buyers can compromise by selecting the largest, newest vehicle within their budgets.
Additional safety features—such as electronic stability control, lane assist, and drift control, etc.—can also improve the safety of the vehicle. Because these features are so new, there is not yet a significant body of research to definitively prove that they reduce accidents. Car buyers should carefully consider all safety features and select those which are best suited to their particular needs. For example, older drivers may particularly benefit from backup cameras, while long distance drivers may choose lane assist to keep them from drifting during long road trips.
The available data can also be used to make the safest vehicle assignments within a multi-driver family. Larger, newer vehicles should be designated for younger or older drivers—both of whom are more likely to become involved in accidents. The family member who drives the greatest distances should also try to use the newer vehicles, as they face increased risk of being involved in an accident as well.
Trust an Experienced Lawyer
Attorney Coby Wooten has over twenty years of experience as a car accident lawyer in Texas. He aggressively negotiates and litigates personal injury claims to ensure that victims injured by another driver’s negligence are fully and fairly compensated for their losses. Clients throughout the greater Fort Worth area trust Coby Wooten to deliver results.