How much do you know about your car’s safety?

February 21, 2013

A few weeks ago I was privileged to attend the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, as a guest of Ford, with around 150 bloggers from around the world. Interestingly, many of the bloggers were lifestyle, tech or mom bloggers, and not your typical motoring bloggers.

It was a chance to learn more about cars – how they are made, the environment-friendly steps that manufacturers like Ford are taking, and see the latest car releases (not to mention shop – I had a good few hours in a Detroit mall where I shopped, but mostly drooled at what I saw).

What the Ford events have shown me is how little I know about cars, and how, when next I choose a car, or take it for a service, without a plus-one male figure with me, I’d have no idea what to do.

Which doesn’t make me proud, but only makes me determined to learn more, especially when it comes to safety. Aside from choosing a pretty car, how safe is it for me and my child? Are there airbags? What are the brakes like? What is the security and locking system like?

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So in the interest of educating myself, and others, here are some tips via Ford, on how to choose a car (whether you’re doing it solo, or with someone else).
Choosing a metallic paint colour can have a positive impact on the future resale value of your car. Buying a dark colour interior trim may prove to be more practical.Before buying your car, it’s worth finding out if this particular vehicle/model traditionally holds its value. If so, you’re more likely to be able to sell it at a reasonable price in the future.

Cars that lose the least value over time tend to be either ‘best in class’, rare, or popular models with second-hand appeal.
Find out how safe the car is. Safety factors include:
– Brakes and driving dynamics, which are designed to help avoid accidents.
– Airbags and seatbelts, which are designed to limit the effects of accidents.
(You can get independent, impartial information on the safety of any new car by visiting the Euro NCAP website)
Find out what the security system is in your car, and see what other features you can get (for example a car tracking system, GPS, and anti-smash and grab windows.What environmental factors should you consider?

– Size/number of seats
Small cars are generally more economical, but it’s important to buy the right sized car for your needs and for the types of roads you’re likely to drive on.- Weight
A heavier car will use more fuel starting off, accelerating and stopping.

– Transmission
Automatic cars are smoother than manuals, particularly in urban areas. However, they use around 10% more fuel.

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