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Are You Planning To Buy Used Cars In Virginia? Make Sure You Read This!

If you are planning to buy used cars in Virginia, Please make sure the used cars is full of safety. You need to consider several factors when evaluating a vehicle's overall safety. They range from how it performs in an emergency-handling situation and how it protects its occupants in a collision to how easy it is to secure a child seat. When comparing vehicles, it's important to look at all the appropriate variables, including safety-related ratings and features. Below, we list 5 safety checks that are worth reviewing before you make your final buying decision.

1) Electronic stability control (ESC)

Auto experts highly recommend electronic stability control, particularly on SUVs. ESC is designed to help keep the vehicle under control and on its intended path during cornering, and prevent it from sliding or skidding. If a vehicle begins to go out of control, the system selectively applies brakes to one or more wheels and cuts engine power to keep the vehicle on course. On SUVs, stability control can help prevent the vehicle from getting into a situation that could lead to a rollover. While electronic stability control has improved the emergency handling on the vehicles we have tested, it's not a cure-all for inherently poor-handling vehicles. Its effectiveness depends on how it is programmed and how it is integrated with the vehicle. It also cannot overcome the laws of physics.

2) Rollover resistance

Taller vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are more likely to roll over than passenger cars. According to the IIHS, SUVs have a rollover rate that is two to three times that of passenger cars. In 2006, 59 percent of all SUV fatalities and 48 percent of pickup-truck fatalities involved a rollover. In contrast, only 25 percent of passenger-car fatalities involved a rollover.

A taller vehicle has a higher center of gravity, which makes it more top-heavy than one that sits lower to the ground. In a situation where a vehicle is subjected to strong sideways forces, such as in a sudden cornering maneuver, it's easier for a taller vehicle to roll over.

3) Antilock brake system (ABS)

Auto experts highly recommend getting an antilock brake system (ABS), which is available as standard or optional equipment on most vehicles. ABS prevents the wheels from locking up during a hard stop, something that can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. ABS almost always provides shorter stops, but, even more importantly, the system helps keep the vehicle straight and allows the driver to maneuver during a panic stop.

4) Accident avoidance

A vehicle's ability to help you avoid an accident is just as important as its crashworthiness. Key factors to consider are braking and emergency handling, although acceleration, visibility, driving position, and even seat comfort (which affects driver fatigue) also play a role.

5) Air bags

By law, every new passenger vehicle comes equipped with dual front air bags. But the sophistication of the systems can vary. It's worth checking what type of air-bag systems a vehicle has.

Most upscale vehicles and many others now have some version of a "smart" air-bag system. It uses electronic sensors to gauge several variables, which, depending on the model, include crash severity, safety-belt use, the position of the driver's seat, and the weight and/or position of an occupant in the front-passenger seat. This information is used to tailor the deployment of the vehicle's front and side air bags.

Dual-threshold and multistage front bags can deploy with varying force, depending on crash severity. In a less-severe collision the bags inflate with less force. In a more severe crash, the bags inflate with more force and more quickly. Many systems withhold deployment on the passenger side if the seat is unoccupied (to save money on replacement) or if the seat is occupied by a person below a certain weight (to prevent possible injury from the bag). The government mandated "advanced" front air bags to be phased in all cars between the 2004 and 2007 model years. They deploy less aggressively or not at all, depending on a front passenger's size or position.

Side air bags are now common for front occupants. The basic side air bag deploys from the seatback or door, and is designed to protect a person's torso. Separate side bags that protect the head are becoming increasingly available, as well. The most common design is a side-curtain bag that drops down from the headliner and covers both the front and rear windows. Consumer Reports highly recommends head-protection side air bags where they're available.

These are the really important things to take care when you are going to purchase used cars in Virginia.


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