When purchasing a new car, there are many factors that you might consider. You may base your decision on the make or model of the car. Some individuals search for specific features or one specific color.

Whatever factors you use, make sure that you consider the safety rating of the vehicle. In the past decade, more than 32,000 people lost their lives in traffic accidents each year in the United States. In addition, over 2.2 million people are injured each year.

In 2019, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported over 6.75 million traffic crashes occurred nationwide. That year, 36,096 people died, and 2.74 million people were injured.

When you consider the odds that you might be killed in an automobile accident (1 in 107 per the NSC), it makes sense to check the safety ratings of several vehicles before deciding on a vehicle to purchase.

What Are The Safest Cars for 2021?

Several organizations rank cars based on safety. Motor Trend and Car & Driver are two sources. US News also publishes a list of the safest cars each year.

For 2021, the US News list of safest cars includes:

1.  2020 Toyota Camry

2.  2020 Honda Insight

3.  2020 Kia Optima

4.  2020 Subaru Impreza

5.  2020 Honda Accord

6.  2020 Mazda3

7.  2020 Hyundai Veloster

8.  2020 Mazda6

9.  2020 Nissan Maxima

10.  2020 Toyota Corolla

11.  2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

12. 2020 Subaru Legacy

13. 2020 Volkswagen Passat

14.  2019 Kia Cadenza

15.  2020 Honda Civic

Each organization uses different criteria for composing its list of the safest cars to purchase. You may also want to check government websites that rank cars based on safety testing.

Evaluating Safety Features and Testing the Safety of Vehicles 

Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts safety tests on numerous vehicles. It awards vehicles a star rating based on the results of the crash tests. A 5-star rating is the top safety rating given by the NHTSA. You can view the 2021 vehicles tested by the NHTSA on its website.

Some of the areas that the NHTSA tests to determine a vehicle’s crashworthiness include, but might not be limited to:

  • Frontal-impact crashes, such as a head-on crash with another vehicle or a fixed object
  • Side impact crashes, such as a sideswipe accident with another vehicle or a fixed object
  • Rollover resistance tests rank how likely a vehicle is to roll over in an accident or collision

These tests determine how vehicles perform in a collision. They also provide information about the various injuries drivers and passengers might sustain, including injuries to the back, chest, brain, abdomen, and neck.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also compiles a list of vehicles ranked by their fatality and crash statistics. The IIHS analyzes the statistics from crashes to determine if there are patterns. Patterns could indicate a vehicle has a flaw or defect that contributes to the severity of a crash.

How Well Does Driver Assistance Technology Work?

The NHTSA and other organizations also analyze how well various driver assistance features work to prevent or reduce the risk of a crash. 

Driver assistance features that you might want to research before purchasing a new vehicle include:

  • Adaptive lighting
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Pedestrian automatic emergency braking
  • Rearview cameras
  • Forward collision warning
  • Rear automatic braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking

Rearview cameras are standard on all new vehicle models beginning May 1, 2018. However, many of the other safety features cost extra.

What Should You Do After a Car Accident in New York City?

Call 911 to report the accident. The emergency operator will give you instructions about what to do next. If you or anyone sustained injuries, request emergency medical services.

If possible, take pictures and make a video of the accident scene with your cell phone or another electronic device. If there are eyewitnesses, ask them to give you their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can be compelling if your case goes to trial.

Seek medical attention for your injuries. Do not provide a written or recorded statement to the insurance company without speaking with a lawyer. Even though New York is a no-fault car insurance state, you might still be able to sue the other driver if you sustained serious injuries. A car accident lawyer can advise you of next steps and what you should do to protect your legal rights. 

For more information, call our law firm at (212) 514-5007 or send us an email by visiting our contact us page.