No matter what kind of driving you do, there are specific vehicles to meet your needs and several resources that parents can utilize during the auto shopping process:
• Ask the Experts
Be sure that the vehicle you buy is well regarded by independent organizations that test for safety and crash worthiness, such as the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Look for manufacturers that consistently achieve the IIHS' "Top Safety Pick." A few automakers, such as Subaru, are standouts for 2009 because they have at least one Top Safety Pick in every vehicle class in which they compete. The NHTSA awards 5-Star ratings to vehicles with the highest crash and rollover safety.
• Use All Four Wheels
When looking at various makes and models, in addition to high crash test ratings, pay particular attention to vehicles with full-time all-wheel drive and four-wheel disc brakes. These enhanced performance features, coupled with a powerful engine, will actually contribute to safety. As an added bonus, they'll ensure that simply accelerating into traffic or negotiating a tight freeway cloverleaf can be a soul-stirring experience--all within the bounds of legal speed limits, and all while safely shepherding kids around town.
• Power Is Good
Look for a vehicle with enough power to keep you out of trouble. Some vehicles with high rankings from the IIHS and the NHTSA also offer powerful high-performance models--such as Subaru's rally-inspired Impreza WRX and STI-that share the same high safety scores as the standard models. And these types of vehicles support the old adage "the best way to survive a collision is to avoid it in the first place," as you will often be able to steer, brake or accelerate your way out of potential problems.
For additional information, visit www.subaru.com.
The best way to survive a collision is to avoid it in the first place, as you will often be able to steer, brake or accelerate your way out of potential problems.