What makes a car safe or dangerous?

If you turn on the TV, you do not have to watch very long before seeing an ad for a new car boasting all of the latest safety features. Every new car on the market seems to introduce some new safety innovation that the manufacturer claims will revolutionize driving as we know it. What is it that makes a car safe or dangerous? There are many possible answers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration heads the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that vehicle manufacturers must follow in the U.S. with the goal of preventing traffic accidents. Compliance with these and other general features may inform a car's overall safety, including the following three factors.

Safety features

There are new features tested and rolled out every day, and it can be difficult to tell which are worth the investment and which are less useful. According to Forbes, there are some that can undeniably improve the safety of your car, including rear-view cameras, lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control.

Build and weight

Safety features are not the only part of a car that can impact how safe it is. The actual build and weight of your car have a lot to do with how it will respond to a collision, too. While a bigger car may be safer in some types of collisions, it may also be more likely to roll in others. This is due to the higher center of gravity, and it is particularly common in SUVs.

Circumstances

At the end of the day, even the car with the most safety features may not be able to prevent a collision or save passengers from injury. Circumstances ultimately determine how safe a car is, and it is important to drive safely and aware to avoid unsafe circumstances emerging on the road.

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