Most people in Wisconsin spend a lot of time in their car and accumulate a lot of mileage before the car is finally replaced. 100,000 miles on the odometer is not unusual but still represents 4 times the distance around the planet. That's a lot of driving - a very long trip you wouldn't want to make in an unsafe car. Think of the odds of driving over such a distance without getting involved in a serious car crash.
When you shop for a safer new or used car, what should you look for?
- Seat belts
Seat belts are essential to your and your passengers' safety. Check the front and the back seats' safety belts: Is the shoulder strap adjustable to the person's height? Do the "pretensioners" allow you to sit comfortably when buckled up and retract instantaneously in the case of an impact? Are there three seat belts in the back, including one to accommodate a child on a booster seat?
- Air bags
So many lives have been saved by air bags that it is not necessary to explain their benefits. Side air bags, if optional, should be at the top of your wish list for the same reason. The only drawback of air bags is that they might hurt children, especially small ones on the front passenger seat. This is why you need to make sure that the passenger air bag can be deactivated.
- Head restraints
Neck injuries (whiplashes), frequent when your vehicle gets rear-ended, are very painful and last a long time. Head restraints limit the backwards movement of your head during a rear-impact crash. Ideally, your car should feature head restraints on both the front and the rear seats, and they should be easily adjustable to the passenger's height.
- Antilock Brake System (ABS)
When you slam on the brakes, the ABS prevents the car's wheels from locking and sliding on the road surface. Locked front wheels keep moving forward, no matter which direction the wheels are turned. With ABS, the vehicle will stop over the shortest possible distance, while keeping the ability to be steered away from the obstacle.
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Your vehicle may lose traction and start skidding during steering maneuvers because of excess speed or a wet or icy road surface. Sensors allow ESC to take over when the vehicle spins or plows out, applying the right brake force to each individual wheel to bring the vehicle back on track. Some systems apply ESC not only to brakes but also to the power drive.
If you have been hurt in a Wisconsin, Iowa, or Illinois car, truck or motorcycle crash, contact the auto accident attorneys of Hupy and Abraham for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation today toll-free at 800-800-5678.