Top 10 Safe Cars
Modern motoring is about combining comfort, handling, safety and speed. Rounding up all of this in a neat and stylish package is no mean feat for car manufacturers. Often manufacturers must choose a priority factor in their design. Meaning that while some cars offer maximum comfort and great handling they could lack in speed and not offer so many safety features. The reason? It would be cost prohibitive to offer the best of everything.
Luckily all cars must meet certain safety specifications. In this article, we’ll go through the minimum safety requirements for UK vehicles. We’ll also round up the top 10 safe cars on the market. Make a good choice and put safety first with these top 10 safe cars.
Basic Safety Features
Seatbelts are a standard feature in all modern cars and a legal requirement in any vehicle produced after 1972. Did you know that in 1972 seatbelts were introduced as a legal requirement in vehicles but were not compulsory to wear until 1983! Seems logical….. Anyway, It is now a legal requirement that anyone over the age of 14 must wear a seatbelt whilst in a moving car. If the vehicle is reversing you do not legally need to wear a seatbelt. There are some exemptions to the rule, but unless you have a medical certificate to state that you are exempt from wearing a seatbelt there can be serious consequences if you are caught.
A seatbelt prevents you and your passengers from being propelled forward during an impact. Your weight magnifies in a collision with the velocity in which you are thrown forward. This means that you can cause serious injury to yourself. Similarly, if you are a rear seat passenger the speed in which your body weight is thrown forward in an impact can crush the front passenger without the assistance of a seatbelt. Essentially, a seatbelt is one of the most important safety features in a car.
Airbags are designed to inflate upon impact and protect you and your passenger from injury by preventing the head hitting the dashboard. Front airbags have been a standard feature on all cars made from 1998, although most cars had them before this date. Airbags save thousands of lives but have received some negative press over the years. They have been known to cause injury and even death to occupants who are not wearing a seatbelt. It is advised that children under the age of 12 should not sit in the front seat of a car equipped with airbags. Instead, they should be seated in the rear with an appropriate restraint system and rear-facing child seat.
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS):
Anti-lock brakes are made to improve the handling of the vehicle during a situation which requires emergency braking. Without ABS severe braking would result in the front wheels ‘locking-up’. If the wheels don’t turn then it is impossible to steer the car. This is a safety essential as there are several scenarios which could require the driver to brake sharply but also steer to manoeuvre around an obstacle or hazard. In 2004 an Australian study into the effectiveness of anti-lock brakes found that they reduced the risk of multiple vehicle crashes by 18%.
Getting Safer, Top Additional Safety Features
Studies have shown that during emergency braking most drivers do not apply as much force to the brakes as they could. Brake assist kicks in and detects when a driver begins an emergency stop and intervenes so that the shortest possible stopping distance is reached.
Forward-collision warning (FCW):
FCW uses a series of cameras, radars or lasers to scan the road ahead. If there is a possible hazard the system will alert the driver with a noise or dashboard light that they are approaching too fast and that a crash is imminent.
Blind-spot warning (BSW):
Changing lanes is one of the biggest causes of accidents on motorways. Checking the blind spot when changing lane is made a whole lot easier with BSW. An audible warning sounds if you attempt to change lane with a potential hazard lurking in the next lane. Advanced BSW systems can auto-steer the car back to safety.
Top 10 Safe Cars
Volkswagen Tiguan SUV
Perfect for families the VW Tiguan offers children sitting in the back extra protection. Also, fitting child seats are nice and easy. The Tiguan’s ‘active’ bonnet rises up to protect pedestrians from stiff engine components. Helping the Tiguan reach a 72% score in this area. The standard automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning systems were also praised and help it make it onto the list.
Mercedes E-Class Saloon
Possibly the safest car on our list for adult and child passengers the Mercedes E-Class reached 95% in its adult protection score and 90% in the child protection score.The Mercedes E-Class offers side airbags for driver and passenger protecting impeccably against side impact collisions. The Mercedes ‘Pre-Safe’ system knows from the driving style if a possible accident is imminent. If the system believes that a crash is likely then it automatically takes the slack out of the seat belts. If power adjustable seats are fitted then the seating position is optimised. The electric windows and sunroof will also close to minimise injuries.
Toyota Prius Hatchback
The Toyota Prius scored maximum points in the side-impact testing and it has been commended for it’s rigid and stable passenger compartment. The Euro NCAP assessment (which places a star rating on cars safety features) judged the Prius as 5 star. Also boasting maximum points for child safety in side-impact testing and gain an overall 82% for child protection.
We couldn’t make our top ten list without adding in a couple of small cars. The Honda Jazz proves that safety isn’t only for big spenders or big cars. Featuring low-speed automatic emergency braking on all versions. The Honda Jazz also received the maximum 5 star Euro NCAP rating rivalling some of it’s larger counterparts.
Another top scorer the Suzuki Ignis supermini reached 5 stars in the Euro NCAP rating and has been commended for its impressive range of airbags. Not only that, it features lane assist and speed assist if you opt for the Safety pack. Scoring 79% for child passenger safety and 87% for adult passenger safety it’s one to consider in the supermini category.
The Kia Niro was a must feature on our top 10 safe cars list. The car tested included the optional safety pack. An impressive 90% score for adult passengers and 80% for child passengers. The hatchback was awarded 5 stars. Also boasting AEB, Speed assistance and lane assistance. A top choice in the small family car class.
The hugely popular small MPV, the Countryman scored a whopping 5 stars too. Boasting an active bonnet which raises in situations when a pedestrian or cyclist collides head-on with the vehicle. Scoring a fantastic 90% in adult protection and 80% in child protection the Mini Countryman is a clear choice for our top 10 safe cars list.
BMW 5 Series
Bringing a touch of luxury to the list, the 5 Series saloon is another 5-star feature. Scoring 91% for adult passenger protection and 85% for child passenger protection. With all checked safety equipment as standard apart from lane assist which is an optional extra.
Land Rover Discovery
Another large off-road vehicle and finishing off our list with 90% score for adult occupant protection and 80% for child occupancy the 5 star Land Rover Discovery packs a whole load of safety features as standard. It doesn’t have the option for an active bonnet but internally there’s safety features aplenty!
So there is your list of our top 10 safe cars to help you pick a perfect partner on the road. Happy and Safe Motoring.
Faye is an experienced blogger with a keen eye for finding excellent information about the subjects she writes about. Giving OSV blog readers the most accurate knowledge.
Latest posts by Faye Lindeck (see all)
- Are Mercedes expensive to maintain? - 24th August 2018
- What is checked in an MOT and a service? - 22nd August 2018
- What are fleet cars and how does fleet vehicle leasing work? - 15th August 2018