Nothing beats the new car smell when you sit in a brand new car.
But how do you know how safe your new car will be if you are ever in an accident?
It is simple: before you buy a new car, research the crash rating tests for that vehicle and check for some important safety features.
The easiest way to check for safety of a model of car is to go to the government-sponsored web site, www.safercar.gov
Here you will find the results of safety tests for every model of car sold in the US through a simple search.
How do they rate auto safety?
Three tests are conducted and models are rated from one to five stars for each test with five being the best.
The first test is for a head-on collision with a fixed barrier at 35 mph. To get five stars, the auto needs to have less than a 10% chance of serious injury to front-seat passengers.
The second test measures a side impact crash with another automobile traveling 38 mph. To receive five stars, there needs to be less than a 5% chance of serious injury for any passenger.
The last test is a rollover test since more than 10,000 people die of rollover crashes each year. Again, to get a five-star rating, there needs to be less than a 10% chance that any passenger will suffer serious injury during a rollover.
Finally, at the same site, you can see descriptions of the latest safety equipment you may want for your vehicle such as electronic stability control and side impact airbags.
Remember that wearing a seat belt reduces your chances of serious injury by up to 75% if you are in an accident.