Top 5 Safest Cars in the Market (Part 2)

2020 Nissan Maxima 4-door sedan

Nissan Maxima is a midsize car making its sales debut in 1981. Its premium features and a sleek line makes it look like a luxury sports car rather than a sedan. It was redesigned in 2016 after a one-year absence in the market. Several changes include the addition of a rear seat-mounted side torso airbags and knee airbags for both the driver and front passenger. The manufacturer also enlarged the frontal and side curtain airbags.

In terms of crash prevention vehicle-to-vehicle testing, Nissan Maxima has an overall evaluation of Superior which is the highest rating for this category. In the test, the vehicle was tested to determine how Nissan Maxima’s auto brake system avoid a crash or substantially reduce speed in tests at 12 mph and 25 mph.

Nissan Maxima also got Superior remarks in its vehicle-to-pedestrian tests which checks the automatic emergency braking system with pedestrian detection. The vehicle gives a warning time of 1.9 seconds before the impact.

2020 Mazda 3 4-door hatchback

Mazda 3 comes in two body styles: sedan and hatchback. Both have the same rating overall from IIHS and no matter which one you select, you’ll get a responsive braking and steering vehicle with a strong engine.

There was a time that the majority of vehicles were rated poorly when it comes to moderate overlap frontal tests. Nowadays, occupants’ compartments are much stronger than they used to be and consistently earn good ratings.

Mazda 3 hatchback and sedan both received a Good rating, which is the highest rating given by IIHS to vehicles in terms of frontal crash tests. In the tests, both variants passed the structure and safety cage assessment which measures how well the safety cage held up in case two vehicles with the same weight collide at 40mph. Mazda 3 also scored Good in Injury rating criteria which determine the likelihood of the driver and passenger receiving various types of injuries – head, chest, legs, neck, and feet – in other words, the risk of injury. A Good rating means that the driver is 46 percent less likely to die compared to a vehicle rated Poor in a frontal crash.

2020 Subaru Legacy 4-door sedan

This midsize car has been in the market since 1989. The Subaru Legacy has been redesigned for the 2020 model but still maintains its solid value for money being cheaper than Camry by $1,120. Subaru Legacy is also the most affordable vehicle available in the market to offer DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System which uses a camera to monitor the driver’s eye and head position and provide visual and audible warnings to help keep the driver’s focus on the road.

Subaru also added a driver’s knee airbag on the latest Legacy which brings its airbag total of eight. They have also added larger and faster airbags all around. This vehicle was given the Top Safety Pick+ rating by IIHS.

Top 5 Safest Cars in the Market (Part 1)

Buying a car, for many, is one of the biggest purchases they will ever make. Aside from price and how it fits our lifestyle, everyone shopping for a new car wants to choose something that has a high safety rating.

These car reviews and ranking are based on two factors: crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), an educational and scientific organization that aims to reduce motor vehicle crashes and the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), a research organization that publishes insurance loss statistics on automobiles in the United States.

The 2020 criteria include ratings in passenger-side small overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, head restraint tests, and roof strength. It also considers vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations on available front crash prevention features. Lastly, the criteria determine if the car provides good headlights as per standard.

2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid 4-door wagon

A frontal crash is the most common type of crash resulting in deaths. Major frontal crash test programs started in the late 1970s by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had been greatly beneficial on how engineers design vehicles.

A plug-in hybrid electric variant of the Crosstrek wagon, the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid was introduced in the 2019 model year and has a superior rating when it comes to front crash prevention. It has a perfect score rating for crashworthiness such as roof strength, head restraints and seats, and all the small and moderate overlap tests.

Its child seat anchors also received a G+ rating which is higher than the standard G (Good) rating that IIHS benchmarks other vehicles. Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid has two rear seating positions with complete LATCH hardware. LATCH which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children is an attachment hardware system for child restraints. As per existing rules, most vehicles are required to have at least three LATCH hardware, two in rear seating positions, and a third with at least a tether anchor. A rating of Good+ means that Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid meets all the criteria for a good rating and it also has additional LATCH-equipped seating positions that make the installation of the car seat easy to use.

2020 Toyota Camry 4-door sedan

Toyota Camry is one of the most bestselling medium-size sedans in the market today for its mix of quality and value for money. In terms of safety, this vehicle received the highest rating of Good in all six crash test categories from IIHS.

Active safety features are also quite standard in any Camry variants such as rearview camera and the Toyota Safety Sense-P suite. TSS-P is a bundle of safety features installed by Toyota on many of its new vehicles. This includes lane keep assist, lane departure alert, radar cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Toyota Camry 2020 has a surround-view parking camera system, rear cross-traffic alert, reverse automatic emergency braking, blind-spot detection, and a head-up display. (Source: Consumer Insurance Report)

Its Hybrid XLE trim model receives an overall rating of Good for its headlight evaluation. When about half of all fatal crashes in the U.S. occur in the dark, headlights play an important role to prevent nighttime crashes, especially on unlit roads. Its LED projector low-beam never exceeded glare limits and its high-beam headlights compensate for some limitations on the vehicle’s low beam.

3 Steps to Becoming a Safer Driver

As reported by the World Health Organization, approximately 1.35 million people die yearly due to road traffic crashes. You might think that disease is the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5 to 29, but no. For this age group, it is road traffic injuries. You can’t control the behaviors and actions of other drivers, but updating your driving skills can help you avoid dangers caused by dangerous drivers.

1. Focus on driving

A study conducted by The National Centre for Transportation Systems Productivity and Management concludes that 80% of crashes were caused by a distracted driver. Distracted driving can lead to impaired driving. Mobile phones are the major culprit and are a growing concern for road safety. A driver using a mobile phone is four times more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers not using one. Using phones while driving slows reaction time on braking and traffic signals. Texting considerably increases the risk of a car crash.

Drivers can also be distracted with big billboards. This bright, glossy, and eye-catching advertisement strategy is a great marketing tool to promote a business but can be hazardous for some drivers. As multi-faceted as they are, a billboard has one goal overall – grab your attention. Billboards along the highways and main roads can capture the attention of the driver. Taking their eyes off the road for more than three seconds can be the difference between life and death for the driver, the passengers and other road users.

By focusing on driving, keeping your eyes on the road at all times, and putting all your distractions away, you can be spared from being a statistic.

2. No drinking and driving

This might be a common-sense but you will be surprised how many drivers will still go behind the steering wheel under the influence of alcohol. Driving when drunk or under any psychoactive substance or drug increases the risk of a crash that results in serious injuries or death. You are already considered legally impaired if you’re blood alcohol content level is at 0.08 percent. However, even with just one drink, alcohol can already affect your senses therefore it’s not worth the risk.

With more than half of all road traffic deaths are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and cyclists, do yourself and all of us a favor and call a rideshare or cab.

3. Get your road rage under control

Aggressive driving – honking, road gestures, tailgating, cutting lanes are behaviors identified with road rage. Either you are guilty of road rage behaviors or you are the one causing others to lash out with road rage, note that 66% of all traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive drivers.

If you find that you have agitated another driver, whether it is your fault or not, do not engage with the other driver. Remind yourself that getting home safely is more important than proving your point. It might be dangerous to teach someone a lesson.

Final thoughts

Safe drivers understand that we – drivers, pedestrians, motorcyclists, bikers – all share the road. Obeying traffic rules, watching the speed, maintaining your vehicle’s road worthiness, and being aware of the surroundings ensure that everyone gets to go home safely.