Safety features to look for when leasing a new car
Choosing to lease a new car is exciting. That brand new car smell is within your reach, now you’ve just got to decide which car you want. I say ‘just’…… it’s the biggest decision to make of the whole process. You must consider what the car will be primarily used for and what you will find most comfortable. Whether you want a petrol or diesel engine?
In amongst all of these decisions, it’s easy to forget about safety features. But the safety features in your new car could be the difference between life or death. So they are vitally important to consider. Yes, all cars must meet certain safety standards but some are definitely more safety conscious than others. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the key safety features to look for when leasing a new car.
How to evaluate a car for safety?
When researching which vehicle you want to choose for your lease you can evaluate the safety of the car in two ways. Both need equal consideration so take your time over this research.You want to know that your lease car will meet all of your needs and offer an extra layer of security that exceeds basic standards. Firstly you must discover what safety features the car has that will help to avoid an accident in the first place? Secondly, how will the vehicle protect passengers in the event of an impact?
Conducting this research can take a bit of time so make a tick box sheet listing your preferred vehicle choices alongside the safety features that matter most to you and see which car totals up the best.
Where can I research the car safety features?
A good place to start is the manufacturer website. Within the technical specification description, you’ll see all of the safety features the vehicle has in place. Whether that’s to prevent an accident or to protect during an accident. Once you’ve noted the features most suited to your type of driving and your requirements you can seek external reviews. The Euro NCAP website is a great research tool.
This website has cleverly given cars a star score for their safety features. Not only that, it gives a percentage score against things like adult occupant safety, child occupant safety. It even looks at pedestrian safety. All of the car’s safety features are listed in a handy table so it’s easy to compare. You can even watch a video of how each car performs in their crash test. Be aware though, they don’t just test the standard version of some vehicles. You’ll notice that some tests are conducted on the standard version of the car and others state they are testing a version with a safety pack.
Must have safety features
Of course, all safety features are a good thing. Most people would coin the phrase ‘the more the merrier’ when talking about the addition of safety features in cars. But if you can’t have it all we think these additional safety features are great. We also think they should be a real consideration when thinking about the safety of your vehicle. Take a look.
Seat Belt Pretensioner:
Pretensioners retract the seat belt to remove excess slack, almost instantly, in a crash. This stops you from being thrown forward during an impact.
These are extensions of the car seats which are designed to limit head movement during a rear-impact crash. Rear impact crashes are renowned for causing neck injuries and head restraints can help reduce this risk. Head restraints are a legal requirement in front seats anyway, but check if your shortlisted cars have them in the rear too. Dynamic head restraints provide the best protection as they automatically adjust according to the seat position.
Antilock Brake System (ABS):
ABS prevents wheel locking when braking suddenly so the driver can keep greater control of the vehicle and if needed, steer it away from the hazard. This is a key tool to help avoid collisions. You can learn about how to use ABS properly and you’ll see even more benefit from using the system. All cars will have four-wheel ABS as standard. If you move up into the SUV and van ranges there is a choice between either two-wheel ABS or four-wheel ABS. Two wheel ABS only monitors and controls the rear wheels.
Some ABS systems also include brake assist, which senses emergency braking by detecting the speed or force at which the driver presses the brake pedal and boosts the power as needed. Under certain conditions, brake assist helps to reach the braking force needed to activate the ABS more quickly and easily. Brake assist can also potentially reduce overall stopping distance by eliminating the delay caused by not braking hard enough or soon enough.
Traction control is mainly found in vehicles with four-wheel anti-lock brake systems. It’s is designed to improve vehicle stability by controlling the amount the drive wheels can slip when you apply excess power. The system automatically adjusts the engine power output and, in some systems, applies braking force to selected wheels during acceleration.
Look at the vehicle’s weight:
Crash data show that heavy vehicles offer more protection during an impact. Even if the equipment is the same in both the light and heavy vehicle. Heavier cars are even more effective in offering protection over lighter vehicles in two car crashes.
That being said, statistically, some of the heavier vehicles on the road today are vans and SUVs. Because of the typical dimensions of an SUV, its centre of gravity is higher off the ground compared to a passenger car. This makes an SUV more prone to rolling over. So while an SUV offers passengers the advantage of being in a heavier vehicle, this advantage can be negated by their tendency to roll over.
Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS):
Tyre pressures are essential to maintain in order to be safe on the roads. If a tyre’s pressure is too high or too low it can burst and cause what’s known as a ‘blowout’. In the case of a blow out the vehicle’s steering will be severely impaired and it’s extremely dangerous in high-speed driving. A tyre pressure monitoring system notifies the driver via a dashboard light when the pressure reaches below 25% of the manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure.
For example, if the tyre is supposed to be inflated to 30 psi of pressure, the TPMS will alert the driver when the tyre pressure drops below 22.5 psi.
Combination Collision Avoidance:
Using the front-facing sensors, these pre-collision systems alert drivers when their car is getting too close to the vehicle immediately in front of them. If the driver does not respond to the dashboard warning some vehicles have the technology to be able to automatically apply the brakes to avoid a collision.
When searching for your next lease car keep in mind these safety features. Standard safety features such as airbags and seatbelts just scratch the surface of protection for you and your passengers. Adding on other features to help prevent an accident is important. Especially for families. Safety features may not be the most exciting part of car buying, but they could well save your life!