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Choosing a Safe Car for a New Driver

By: Tracy Whitelaw - Updated: 12 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Safe Car Safety Driving Ncap New Driver

There are a few good rules you can follow to ensure your driving life is a safe one and one of them is choosing a car that is safe for you. Your choice will be dependent on who you are, how old you are, your driving experience and many other aspects, not least of all is the vehicle itself.

New Car Safety Features

Most new cars today come jam packed with a plethora of onboard safety features and these will generally be highlighted to you by the car sales person you are dealing with. As with the purchase of any vehicle however, it is always within your interest to do your homework before you set foot in a car yard. There are a multitude of online sites that deal in car safety, but your first stop should be to check the European NCAP safety rating at EuronCap.com. NCAP results are extremely helpful because they give you the safety ratings in an overall format, but also splits them into categories and allows you to compare vehicles. Get a list together of vehicles that are of interest to you and compare them at the site. Once you're familiar with the terms and know which cars are highest rated, take this information with you when shopping for a vehicle.

Common Rules to Help Choose A Safe Car

There are many important aspects to consider when looking at buying a new car with a safety rating you can be confident of. As well as checking the NCAP rating of vehicles, there are some common sense rules to keep in mind.

  • How experienced are you behind the wheel?
  • How confident are you at general driving?
  • What size of car do you need and feel comfortable with?
  • What can you afford and afford to do without?

Always consider all of these aspects when looking for a safe car. If your confidence level isn't as high as you'd like it to be yet, consider a less powerful car to start off with. Your needs can be cross-referenced with this to come up with the type of car you require (i.e. large, medium, small, economical etc). This gives you the opportunity to really consider what features you need, what you're able to afford and what you feel confident in handling.

Car Safety Features

Some of the most important car safety features found in cars now include:

  • ESC (Electronic Stability Control) - A feature that senses impending slides, skids and other issues and applies the brakes to keep the car under control
  • Tyre Pressure Systems - A warning system that monitors your car tyre pressures and alerts you when one of the tyres becomes low. This feature's early detection means you should be able to get the tyre pressure under control before an unnecessary blow out.
  • ABS (Anti-Lock Breaking System) - This feature prevents your breaks from locking should you apply hard pressure to them in an emergency. The system rapidly applies intermittent pressure to the brakes, thus preventing them from locking
  • Airbags - An excellent addition to any cars safety features. Airbags will self-inflate when your car encounters a collision, preventing you from injury by softening the blow you receive from the impact

When looking for any safe car, especially for new drivers who may be less confident and more likely to be involved in a car crash, the features above are imperative to include on your must have list.

Car Safety and Other Road Users

Safety to pedestrians and other road users can also be a consideration when purchasing a vehicle. For example if you hit a person in an accident, some vehicles will injure the victim far more than others, so if you truly want to consider all safety features, thinking outside of the box - so to speak - is also something to keep in mind. Thinking about other people also extends to your passengers. Look for cars with airbags and if you can afford it, look for cars with curtain airbags which completely surround the interior of the car in a collision. Never be afraid to ask the salesperson for all the safety features of the vehicle you are thinking of purchasing.

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