The dilemma today is that the quality of drivers seems to be going down while the number of drivers seems to be going up – and I need to feel that my teenage drivers are as safe as they can be when they leave the house.
Obviously we parents can’t do much about the other drivers on the road, but we can do something for our own. We can educate them relentlessly about being aware on the road and driving defensively; we can constantly stress how important it is to not drive distracted or impaired; we can endlessly remind them how important buckling the seatbelt is…and we can buy them the safest possible car for our budget.
But how do we know what the safest car is? What are the most important features that go into building a safe car? Can we be confident that the air bag will deploy every time? That the gas tank won’t explode in a rear end collision? There are hundreds of questions that we have concerning the safety and reliability of both the new and used cars on the market, and it’s critical that we have ready access to a reputable repository for this type of information.
And very fortunately there is – the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s vehicle ratings website, http://www.iihs.org/ratings/default.aspx. This site is the most comprehensive I’ve found concerning vehicle type and collision performance during front, rear and rollover accidents; all graded on a 1-4 rating system ranging from good to acceptable through moderate and poor.
In addition to comprehensive information on vehicle safety, the site offers links to news, consumer brochures and videos, research and statistics, laws and other technical data, and much, much more.
Thanks to this site I can now feel legitimately confident that when my youngster takes off in a 98 Buick say to go to the mall, or leaves with a friend in a Jeep for an outing in the desert, I’ll know what extra precautions, if any, I should inform them about.