Choosing a safe car
Safety is one of the primary concerns of car drivers, and for good reason. More than 32,000 motorists died in car accidents in the latest year for which statistics are available.
There are a few things you can do to avoid becoming a statistic, and the first is picking a safe car. These days, that means a car that's been designed to score well when put to the ultimate test, but also to help drivers avoid accidents in the first place.
One thing is for certain: All cars aren't created equal. A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found a wide discrepancy in the death rates among the various makes and models on sale today. While the worst cars averaged a death rate of more than 100 fatalities per million cars on the road, there were nine exemplary makes and models in which no drivers died over a three-year span.
Click through to see the safest cars on the road.
The Audi A4 comes with a feature list a mile long. Standard safety features include electronic stability and traction control systems, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, front side-impact airbags, overhead curtain airbags for front and rear passengers, and a tire pressure monitor. Audi Side Assist blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, parking assist with rear-view camera and rear outboard side-impact airbags are also offered.
Audi A4 Information
Minivans are considered family cars, though IIHS recently found most aren't as safe as they seem. The Honda Odyssey was the only minivan the IIHS tested to earned a "good" overall score, the agency's best ranking. It's also a Top Safety Pick+ vehicle. Safety features such as side-impact and curtain airbags, four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes, traction control and an electronic stability system are standard on all models.
Honda Odyssey Information
The new Kia Sorento is better looking, and safer, than ever. It comes studded with airbags and features such as seatbelt pre-tensioners and hill start assist control.
Kia Sorento Information
Lexus RX 350
The luxurious Lexus RX 350 is the first sedan-based SUV. It comes with dynamic cruise control, which helps drivers maintain a pre-set distance from the cars ahead and pre-collision technologies that help prepare drivers when a crash is imminent.
The Mercedes GL-Class is the automaker's large seven passenger SUV and is meant to provide all the luxury and capacity. And this huge car has a huge list of safety features. Standard features include anti-lock brakes w/Brake Assist, traction control, stability control w/roll control, eight airbags, mbrace2 SOS system, PRE-SAFE, rear camera, drowsiness detection, crosswind stabilization and collision prevention assist.
The Legacy has been a longtime family favorite. With the roomiest interior, best fuel economy and longest list of amenities in the Legacy's history, the new refined Legacy adds comfort and luxury to your trip, whether it be on-road or off. It comes with ten airbags standard and the list of safety features goes on from there. Vehicle stability and traction control systems, anti-lock brakes, active front head restraints, tire-pressure monitor and rear-vision camera all add up to the safest car on the road.
Subaru Legacy Information
Toyota Highlander Hybrid
The Highlander Hybrid highlights what Toyota does best, build reliable, green and safe cars loaded with techy features. It comes with Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert and rear parking sensors with integrated backup camera in the standard package. Higher trims come with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Pre-Collision System and Lane Departure Alert with Automatic High Beam Headlights, as well as Safety Connect to help stranded drivers out of tough spots.
Toyota Highlander Information
Living up to its name, the Sequoia is gigantic. Driver's lives were never in any real danger, since this SUV can roll over most vehicles on the road with barely a bump. It also comes with a sweet list of standard safety features including eight airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control.
Toyota Sequoia Information
The Volvo XC90 has earned its safety accolades in recent years. Besides seeing zero deaths in recent years, it has been an IIHS Top Safety Pick several years running. It comes with tons of safety features, such as seatbelt pre-tensioners, which automatically tighten seatbelts, placing the occupant in the optimal seating position during a collision and anti-whiplash head rests.