When it comes to vehicle safety, consumers often look for features like airbags, warning indicators, cameras and passenger protection in the event of a crash. However, it’s just not just the extent to which vehicles protect passengers in a collision that dictates how safe a car is; crash-avoidance features are also critical in assessing safety.
Recently, for instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its annual list of the safest vehicles. And this year, the IIHS scores emphasize the importance of features that protect pedestrians and bicyclists.
What makes a vehicle safe?
There are numerous organizations and rating systems when it comes to scoring safety in passenger vehicles. However, they often use similar metrics when assessing safety. These metrics include:
- Structural protections
- Number and performance of airbags
- Acceleration and braking
- Owner satisfaction
- Crash-avoidance technology
As you can see, crash-avoidance technology is just one of the many factors that affect the safety of a vehicle. And within that one component are several parts, from visibility to pedestrian detection systems.
Emphasizing pedestrian, bicyclist safety
The IIHS states that ratings for pedestrian crash prevention are relatively new. However, by emphasizing these factors when scoring vehicles, the agency hopes it will encourage automakers to prioritize these features.
Car safety is not just about keeping passengers safe; it’s also about preventing crashes and keeping others on the road safe. Cars that alert a driver to a cyclist coming up in a blindspot or brake when they detect an object or person in the road don’t just prevent crashes; they save lives.
What are the safest cars?
Sixty-four cars received one of the two safety pick awards from the IIHS. Among the best performing were Mazda, with six vehicles receiving awards, and Hyundai, with 17 vehicles receiving awards.
No minivans, trucks, or cars from Fiat Chrysler or Mitsubishi received awards.
It is important to note that just because a vehicle receives a high safety rating doesn’t mean it will never be in a crash. Technology can only go so far in protecting people; motorists must also take the responsibility of driving safely.