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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Safest Cars of 2008

Safety should always take precedence over speed when buying a vehicle, more so if it is not only your safety that is on the line, but those of others as well. While I am not a big fan of accidents, my prime consideration whenever I am driving is not myself but the well-being of my kids. That is what I am most concerned about. Safety is a very big issue for me, and I do not only settle on knowing what safety features a particular car has. I want to know how it holds up in a simulated or if possible, real life scenarios. Of course, by real life I don’t mean there should be a person driving the car and then see if he lives or not after an accident. A dummy would suffice.

When a car, truck or SUV goes out in the market, that means it has passed certain standards, and that it offers a degree of protection, enough to satisfy safety norms. That is ok. But the question is: How high/low is the safety level of that particular vehicle? If a vehicle has, for example, a safety rating of 7 and it is considered to be above average in terms of safety, should you consider buying it or settle for one that is rated an 8 or a 9? Of course you should get the one with the higher safety rating. It is for this reason why several groups conduct yearly tests to determine which cars are safe and which are not. One of these groups is the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or IIHS which is an “independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to reduce the losses — deaths, injuries, and property damage — from crashes on the nation's highways.” This organization is backed by auto-insurers so they would know which cars should have a low insurance rating, and which ones would cost a lot to insure. The safety of car owners is also another consideration.

I checked their website and they have already put out a list of the safest cars to come out in the year 2008, and here they are:

Large cars
Audi A6
Cadillac CTS
Ford Taurus with optional electronic stability control
Mercury Sable with optional electronic stability control
Volvo S80

Midsize cars
Audi A3
Audi A4
Honda Accord 4-door models
Saab 9-3
Subaru Legacy with optional electronic stability control

Midsize convertibles
Saab 9-3
Volvo C70

Small car
Subaru Impreza with optional electronic stability control

Honda Odyssey
Hyundai Entourage
Kia Sedona

Midsize SUVs
Acura MDX
Acura RDX
Ford Edge
Ford Taurus X
Honda Pilot
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Veracruz built after August 2007
Infiniti EX35
Lincoln MKX
Mercedes M class
Nissan Murano
Saturn VUE built after December 2007
Subaru Tribeca
Toyota Highlander
Volvo XC90

Small SUVs
Honda CR-V
Honda Element
Subaru Forester with optional electronic stability control

Large pickup
Toyota Tundra

You can check out this list, as well as past lists on their website by clicking here. If you want more proof of a vehicle’s safety rating, you can also gather information from other websites. I would suggest you check out the list at CNN.com Autos, Forbes.com and AOL Autos. If you buy a “safe” car, and then you drive with caution, you observe traffic rules and you stay alert, you will decrease the likeliness of getting into any kind of accident. It also pays to know which cars you should steer clear of. It is recommended that you do this kind of research before you buy any vehicle. I am going to provide you with a list, probably tomorrow, of the least safest cars to ever come out, if not this year, then last year.