Before buying any vehicle, check its star safety rating.

Anyone who regularly attends crashes knows the difference a safe car can make. They see first-hand how vehicle's star safety rating has a significant impact on its performance when it comes to crash protection.

It's easy to imagine when you watch what happens to a 5-star and a 1-star car when they crash:

Watching this video, you can see why people are at least 90% more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a 1-star than a 5-star vehicle, and at least 60% more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a 2-star than a 5-star vehicle. That's why it's important to get a car with the best safety rating you can afford.

The good thing is, newer, bigger or more expensive doesn't necessarily equal safer. There are 5-star safety rated cars of all sizes, years and prices, and there's likely to be a big difference in safety between the cars in your price range. It pays to do your research and check the star rating of any car you're looking at, either on the vehicle listing or the RightCar website.

Cars with higher ratings usually have things like:

  • front, side, curtain and knee airbags
  • crumple zones to absorb crash energy
  • high strength materials in the structure of the cabin.

For newer vehicles, there are also safety features that could help you avoid a crash. Things like:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)

Note that different manufacturers can call these features by different names.

When you're shopping for a car for any member of your family, always make safety a priority.