By Larry Saavedra
People need to do a lot more tire kicking before they buy a new car. Savvy buyers don't scramble after the cheapest model, or put a dollar amount on their lives. Why should you?
My point here is this, shop for safety and quality first. And then consider price as a secondary issue, an icing on the cake of sorts. Understand that safe cars are well-built cars, meaning all necessary safeguards are in place to ensure that drivers and passengers have the best possible outcome in an accident. Safe cars are never the cheapest ones, because airbag technology, crumble zones, rigid framework and active or passive restraints meant to keep you safe, costs money, which the automaker must then pass onto the consumer.
With that said, drivers owe a lot of gratitude to Béla Barényi, the Daimler-Benz engineer, who invented the crumple zone technology in the 1950s. His concept of redistributing the impact of a collision to the body panels has saved countless lives and is used today.
I recommend that a potential buyer look for the vehicles with the highest safety rating and most standard safety features. To learn which vehicles are rated the best visit http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings.