The financial cost of automobile accidents every year in the United States averages around 230 billion dollars. ABCNews.com, in combination with Consumer Reports and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, compiled a list of the five safest cars for all types of drives.
Luxury Seekers: Volvo S80
Drivers have become more concerned with safety features for head-on collisions, as they are the most common type of fatal traffic accident. Unfortunately, the laws of physics always win over fancy safety features. In other words, size matters.
SUVs and trucks are heavier by nature, but also take longer to stop and are more susceptible to rollovers, another leading type of fatal traffic accidents. Russ Rader, a spokesman for a Virginia based insurance institute, explains that “The single most important contributor to a vehicle’s crash survivability is its mass”.
Sedans are a leader in safety innovation, particularly Volvo’s. Spearing no expense, the Volvo S80 ranked among the four safest “large” cars that were collision-tested by the Insurance Institute. The size, design durability and advanced technological features allow the Volvo S80 to be considered as one of the safest cars ever built. Drives experience automatic alerts to help alleviate everything from lane drifting to common bind spots.
Budget Conscious: Subaru Impreza Outback Sport
Ideally, the most affordable cars would be just as safe as the biggest cars out on the road. Experts agree though that over the years the gap has begun to widen. In the current state of the economy, car buyers are forced to weight price alongside, or even above, safety. Thankfully, the Subaru Impreza Outback Sport holds a position of a lower-cost car with high safety ratings.
Some models are priced under $20,000 and are one of only two cars to appear on both the Consumer Reports and IIHS safest car lists. The vehicle features reliable brakes, electronic stability control, all-wheel drive and great handling.
Green Guru’s: Honda Civic
While some of the most fuel efficient cars have proven to have no sudden acceleration problems, they also do not turn up among the two dozen models on the Insurance Institute’s safest cars list. The next best thing, the Honda Civic. The Honda Civic is the institute’s top-ranked small car. It is fuel efficient and had the highest of four possible ratings (“good”, as opposed to, “acceptable”, “marginal”, or “poor”) in all four crash tests (front, rear, side, rollover).
For the City Dwellers: Volvo XC60
While it is hard to get rear-ended on the subway, some city folks still want their automobiles. The Volvo XC60 is the only car on the road today to feature automatic braking. In stop and go situations, if someone in front of you suddenly stops, the Volvo XC60 will stop automatically if the driver doesn’t hit the break fast enough.
Country Roads: Ford F150
Forget fuel efficiency and rollover concerns – some people will drive nothing other than a pickup truck. That being the case, experts agree that the Ford F150 is a good choice. It scored high in rollover survivability tests and has good breaking power.
Automotive experts stress the difficulty of trying to pick the singularly safest vehicles on the road. With new innovations and growing safety concerns, there are numerous safe cars for buyers to consider. Among those include: Audi A6, Acura RL, Volkswagon Golf, Toyota Tundra and Tacoma and the Honda Ridgeline.