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Safest cars on the road

January 3, 2011

Car accidents occur every single day and although the biggest factor is the person behind the wheel, car manufacturers are making safety a priority when designing their vehicles, as most consumers want crash protection. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently conducted a series of tests on vehicles to ensure their safety during an accident.

Consumer Report magazine used the test results of both the NHTSA and the IIHS, and compared 85 vehicles in terms of accident avoidance, crash protection, and overall safety. Results were compared for performance on dry and wet pavement, anti-lock brake systems, emergency handling, acceleration, driving position, visibility, and seat comfort. The Volkswagen Passat came in at number one overall, with the Toyota Camry following close behind in the family sedan category. For large sedans, the Lexus ES300, Audi A4, and BMW 330i topped the list. Volkswagen was also ranked safest in small cars, with both the Golf and Jetta topping the list. Honda Civic, the Hyundai Elantra, and Chevrolet Cavalier followed closely in that category. Among the lowest scoring vehicles were the Buick LeSabre, Chrysler 300M, the Dodge Dakota, the Chevrolet S-10, Chevrolet Venture, Oldsmobile Silhouette, and Pontiac Montana.

According to the NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System there were 30,797 fatal car accidents in the U.S in 2009. 2,558 of those car accidents occurred in Florida. Although all vehicles today are much safer than 15-20 years ago, the way it’s driven can have a lot to do with whether you will suffer a serious injury in an accident.

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