Safety features to look for in a family car

Having a TV in the family car can be great for road trips, but when parents are shopping for a new vehicle, entertainment takes a back seat to safety. It seems like every day car companies are introducing new safety technology, and some of these features are standard while others are optional. Drivers who are buying cars with an auto loan should consider which features they want and need.

Some vehicles can be optioned to have advanced frontal airbags, which can determine the size of the passenger and the seat location to ensure that the airbags will inflate to the right size without causing injury, according to The Washington Post. This is a good feature to consider for families whose kids have outgrown their car seats and just learned what “shotgun” means.

The news source also recommends springing for brake safety systems such as anti-lock brakes and brake assist. Anti-lock brakes detect emergency situations when drivers press harder on the pedals than necessary, and it keeps the wheels unlocked to provide better steering during slippery situations. Brake assist provides added pressure, which can be extremely helpful if drivers need to stop short.

Many new and recent vehicles have the option of a rear-view camera, which can not only help with parallel parking but it allows drivers to make sure there’s nothing and no one behind them when they are backing up. Small children could go unnoticed behind a car, but a backup camera will make it easy to spot them.

Tire pressure is equally important when it comes to safety, and there are systems that can monitor the air pressure. They can alert the driver when the tires are low on air, which can prevent flat tires. It can also help keep fuel economy high, as under-inflated tires will use more fuel to do the same job as those filled to the appropriate level.

Drivers who are considering car financing may be able to find these and other safety options already installed in a used vehicle. The added features may increase the price of the vehicle, but the peace of mind can more than make up for spending a few extra bucks.