Friday, December 24, 2010

Vehicle safety improvements

Cars in snow at night
Earlier this week a friend slid on the snowy and ice covered road in his '99 Ford Taurus into an oncoming SUV.  Tragically his 14 year old daughter, sitting in the front passenger seat, lost her life in the accident.  He was hurt, but not critically.

This accident made me wonder, if he were fortunate enough to be driving a more current model car, with the additional air bags and safety features, might things have worked out differently for his daughter?

Bridge lights on snowy night
Thanks to the automakers, who each year, seem to be adding additional safety features to our cars.  An article in the LA Times noted that the number of autos receiving the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's highest ratings jumped from 27 at the beginning of the year to 66 by year's end.  The US government has a website, Safercar.gov, that provides safety ratings for both new and used vehicles.

While good gas mileage has always been my highest priority in vehicle selection, safety is now higher on my list.  Thanks to the auto industry, it shouldn't be too difficult to find a vehicle with both good safety features and gas mileage. 

Here's hoping for a safer year on the roads  in 2011, with less traffic and fewer accidents.

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