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Driving a Safer Car

When shopping for a car or truck, one of the important qualities to consider is safety.  Although traffic fatalities have been declining since 2005, over 34,000 people still died in 2008 on United States roads -- almost 1,000 in Missouri.  Driving a safer car is one of the things you can do to help protect yourself and your family.

Three good sources of vehicle ratings and other safety information are:

  • from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which provides governent crash test results, safe driving tips, and information about defects and recalls.
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety conducts its own crash tests and awards the title of Top Safety Pick to vehicles with good scores in four different tests. To demonstrate the improvement in vehicle safety since the IIHS was founded 50 years ago,  they test crashed a 1959 Chevrolet Bel Air and a 2009 Chevrolet Malibu.  You can see the video of the test on their site.
  • Consumer Reports rates the safety of vehicles based on their own evaluations as well as the NHTSA and IIHS crash tests.  Some of the information requires a subscription but is available in their annual April Automotive issue which is  available at any library branch or through the library's subscription to the General OneFile* online magazine index. 

* Library card required for use outside the Library

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