back to articles | August 03, 2019 | Dale Peterson

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Buying A Car? Don't Overlook Safety Concerns

Buying a new or used car, whether you are taking out an auto finance loan or you are in the lucky position of having cash, is a fun and challenging experience. It is meant to be. For many people, the autos that we drive are status symbols and they also tell the world a lot about our personality. At least, that’s what some have concluded but I’m not totally convinced that it is true. However, when you sign that auto financing agreement for a new car loan, you have to be certain of one thing above all else: is the vehicle going to be safe to drive? You really need to know.


Safety in cars has come a long way. While there are still, believe it or not, some vehicles that have hardly any safety features (a certain Italian manufacturer springs to mind) the majority of cars have sophisticated safety equipment fitted as standard. Even so, there are a few safety measures that you should insist upon having in your new vehicle when you buy. If they don’t come as standard equipment, buy/add them as extras or options. Most of the time they come in a package but they can always be purchases separately if you wish. If you are buying a used vehicle, buy the vehicle that has added the most safety specifications and best safety record as close to the best safety specification as possible. This is an investment in your future, and not doing this means that you’re literally driving an unsafe vehicle making your car unsafe.

First up, and we know this sounds really silly, but especially if you are buying a used car, make sure it has seat belts. Seat belts can mean the difference between life and death. Safety records confirm it. In todays world, seatbelts are law and must be used, therefore, don’t buy an auto without them. That is that. So always check that whatever auto you purchase, it has seatbelts and buy obviously they must be in good condition has good and they working seatbelts.

Next make sure that the car you purchase has an anti-lock braking system fitted. This is, for the most part, now actually standard on most newer modern vehicles, but some have slipped through the net, so check that the vehicle has them, and don’t buy it if it doesn’t (or if it is a new car option, make sure you purchase the system). An ABS makes sure that you can still control the car when in a skid. That really is all we have to say on the matter.

While we are on the subject, check to see if the ABS has something called Brake Assist. This is a system devised by those nice people at Mercedes Benz. The system actually makes sure that, in an emergency stop situation, the brake pedal is rammed to the floor, it subsequently reduces the problems that panic-braking brings to the situation.

The majority of cars (but not all) have airbags in the front. However, there are many cars out there, especially the older ones, which do not have side-impact protection bags. These do the same as frontal bags, but for the side. Cars can be rammed into from the side. So if you want to protect yourself from a ton of metal rushing at your head and body at 50 miles per hour, and the glass that will come with it, do your best to find either a used vehicle that has side impact, or a new one that can be upgraded if necessary.

Before you ever go shopping, search rates and check out auto loan financing in advance. This helps keep your focus on the look, safety features, price and condition of the car. Everyone knows that these machines need responsible handling. Safety measures like those outlined above aid the responsible driver. Be safe!