Vehicle Safety: 5 Tips to Consider Before Buying Your Next Vehicle
When buying a new vehicle, especially in today’s overpriced market, many consumers are concerned with vehicle safety, which is of utmost importance to ensure you and your loved ones are safe when traveling. Before making your next vehicle purchase, you should carefully inspect with due diligence to identify any safety issues that could put you and your family’s life in jeopardy.
Consider the five important tips below as explained by a Florida auto accident lawyer at Searcy Denney to help give you the peace of mind that the next vehicle you purchase is worthy of protecting and transporting you and your loved ones.
Check The Vehicle’s Crash Test Rating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Before you finally pull the trigger on buying a new vehicle, be sure to check its crash test rating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This report can provide helpful information for you to properly evaluate the safety of a vehicle. NHTSA’s safety ratings program evaluates how vehicles perform in crash tests.
To check the crash test rating of the vehicle you are purchasing, first, collect key information about the vehicle such as its year, make, and model. You can usually find this in the owner’s manual or ask the dealership for this information.
After you have collected the year, make, and model of the prospective new vehicle, you can go to NHTSA’s vehicle safety database to check your vehicle’s crash test rating which is located at: nhtsa.gov/ratings. There, you can enter the year, make, and model of your vehicle and click search to generate a crash test report.
The crash test report will offer an overall rating of your vehicle of up to five stars. The rating looks at three main areas including:
- Frontal crash
- Side crash
- Rollover impact
NHTSA conducts these three tests because these types of crashes account for the majority of crashes on America’s roadways.
The crash report will explain what testing occurs during each type of test as well as note other important details such as recalls and owner complaints. The report may also offer some video clips of the actual crash test done on your vehicle so you can actually see the impact of each type of crash test done on the prospective automobile.
Check the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Database
You might also consider checking the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) safety tests located at iihs.org. There, you can also enter the year, make, and model of your vehicle and see an overview of your vehicle’s safety rating by the IIHS, if it is available.
Be Sure to Test Drive and Visually Inspect a Prospective Vehicle Before Purchasing
Before you make your next car purchase, you should be sure to do a test drive of the prospective vehicle. Be sure to listen to how the vehicle runs and make note of any unusual noises, rattles, and squeaks. Also, pay attention to strange smells, such as the smell of mold or mildew that could indicate water damage to the car. Additionally, be sure to open the hood to check the engine and transmission for apparent damage as well as beneath the vehicle for noticeable issues.
Check the Vehicle’s Title and Vehicle History Report
As part of your due diligence, you should be sure to check the vehicle’s title and vehicle history report to look for outstanding liens as well as any signs that the vehicle has been damaged, repurchased under a state lemon-law program, suffered flood damage, odometer tampering, or any other major issues.
Work with an Experienced Local Mechanic
If you have time before making the purchase, have a certified mechanic do an inspection of the prospective vehicle before purchasing. An experienced mechanic has a trained eye to spot damages and issues such as mechanical problems that you may not be able to identify on your own.
Need Help? Contact a Florida Auto Accident Lawyer at Searcy Denney Today for a Legal Consultation
If you have questions about vehicle safety or if you were injured in an auto accident because of a defective vehicle, a Florida auto accident lawyer at Searcy Denney can help. Our team has extensive experience in personal injury law and can help with your case. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation. We have offices conveniently located in Tampa, West Palm Beach and Tallahassee and work on a contingency fee basis.