Tips for personal driving safety

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 10, 2012

Staying safe while driving is not just a matter of obeying driving laws but also of ensuring your vehicle is as safe as possible. If you’re shopping for a new or used car this Christmas there are several safety features you should look out for. Seatbelts are one of the most vital life-saving features of any car. Check the pretension (the speed at which a seatbelt takes up slack when jolted) and make sure they are adjustable. If you have a large family or often carry passengers make sure there is a proper shoulder belt in every seat, even the centre at the back. Airbags protect you in the event of a crash by inflating and cushioning the impact of your head against the steering wheel or windscreen. If buying a used car make sure you find out if the airbags have ever been deployed, and if so demand new ones be fitted. Remember that airbags only work when used in tandem with seatbelts and that they can be dangerous for children under 12.

Never strap a baby seat into the front seat of a car unless the airbag is turned off. Antilock brakes help to prevent the car from skidding should you panic in an emergency situation and begin to brake too hard. It should be remembered, however, that this does not always prevent a crash and you should always try to come to a proper stop in an emergency situation. Head injury protection will not be visible to the driver. It is cushioning fitted into the ceiling of the car to lessen impact in a crash situation.

For extra safety you could look for head airbags that deploy in a situation where the vehicle is rolled over. Traction control and four-wheel drive both reduce the amount a vehicle can slip sideways or skid in an emergency situation. Electronic stability control senses when the vehicle is out of control and automatically applies a brake to try and prevent the vehicle from skidding too far. This advice was compiled by who offer car accident advice and help with any subsequent medical attention should you be involved in an accident.

Topics: safety

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