Minivans are generally considered "safe" vehicles by most. But did know that the federal government as "light trucks?" Because they do, minivans do not have to meet the same bumper-impact standards as passenger cars. That means even a minor impact can result in major damage or wrongful death if you are not careful.
SUVs Are Either Extremely Safe or Extremely Dangerous
Another popular belief is that sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) are all safe in the event of an auto accident. Like minivans, SUVs are also classified as "light trucks" by the government - and light trucks also do not have to meet the same roof-crush standards as passenger cars. That means that, in a rollover car accident, an SUV's roof may not hold up as well as a car's, resulting in serious injury or wrongful death. The current notion that SUVs are more dangerous than cars is also twisted. While SUVs may be more likely to roll over in certain situations, it is also true that their generally larger size has an inherent safety advantage in most other types of impact car accidents.
My Car Has Air Bags, So I Can Survive Any Auto Accident
There is a myth that an air bag-equipped car is the safest vehicle you can buy. In fact, size and weight matters more. A 4,500-pound full-size car, even without airbags, offers better occupant protection/survivability than a 2,500-pound compact that has them. Air bags help make compact and subcompact cars more crashworthy but they cannot compensate entirely for the inherent safety advantage of driving a larger, heavier vehicle, even without airbags. Calculations in physics would simply demonstrate this fact.
My Car Has Anti-Lock Brakes, So It Will Always Brake Better
It is assumed by that modern cars with anti-lock brakes (ABS) are safer than older cars without ABS. Not necessarily true. Studies have found that drivers of ABS-equipped cars often fail to fully depress the brake pedal in a panic stop. Failure to fully brake means greater stopping distances and a higher likelihood of hitting whatever's in front of you. ABS-equipped cars are only safer than non-ABS-equipped cars if the system is used as designed.
If I Drive Very Slowly, I Will Avoid an Auto Accident
A long time ago, someone said, "Speed kills." It does, but there is also another side to it. In fact, federal car accident and wrongful death data shows that it is the slow-moving driver who is more likely to be the cause of a car accident. Modern highways are designed for safe travel at speeds of approximately 75 mph, yet most states have arbitrarily lowered maximums to 55-65 mph in a scheme to get more revenue from speeding tickets. The handful of drivers who stick to the under-posted limit out of fear of being ticketed (or timidity) create obstacles and interrupt the smooth flow of traffic - causing more "chain reaction" car accidents. Those who drive 10 mph slower than the flow are statistically six times as likely to be in a car accident as those traveling 5-10-mph faster than the average flow of traffic.
Putting My Child in the Back Seat Will Keep Them Safer Than in the Front Seat
Your child is always safer in the back seat. Though airbags, especially the older ones that are not "de-powered," can injure or kill a child riding in the front passenger seat in the event of a car accident. Studies have shown that a parent distracted by a child in the back seat is more likely to have an accident in the first place.
Up front, it is easier for a parent to keep and eye on a child while also keeping an eye on the road. It is arguably smarter to take steps to avoid having a car accident to begin with than it is to decide on how best to soften the impact of a car accident that is more likely to happen as a result of distracted driving.
Of course, it is very important for you to make sure that your front seat passenger air bags (front and side) are turned off, as the air bag could easily cause a wrongful death to your child. If you cannot turn off your front passenger air bag, then it is best to place your child in the back seat.
It Is Safer To Not Wear My Seat Belt, I Could Be Trapped In an Accident
Last but not least, there is an old (but good) myth about seat belts. In the past, it was concluded that seat belts could trap you in a wrecked car if you do buckle up. But is that really what you should be more concerned with? Did you know that the odds of being violently ejected from the car and dying are massively greater than the chances of being trapped inside by a seat belt? That is something interesting to think about the next time you consider not buckling up.
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