If you live in Columbia or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and are thinking about buying a new car, automobile safety features likely are on your mind. In particular, if you have a large family and regularly provide transportation to your children and their friends, you want to be certain that you have a vehicle that will keep your family safe in the event of a serious car accident. There are many different causes of motor vehicle collisions, and as such, it is important to select an automobile that has safety features to prevent severe personal injuries in a wide variety of crash types. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report on motor vehicle crash causation, some of the most frequent causes of traffic collisions in South Carolina and across the country include: aggressive driving (such as speeding or following too closely), distracted driving, drowsy driving, impaired driving, and inclement weather.

Are there cars available that can help to prevent crashes resulting from some of these common causes? And in the event of an accident, are there motor vehicle available that can adequately reduce the likelihood of debilitating personal injuries?

Most Popular Cars in Columbia, But are they the Safest?

Is the most popular car in Columbia, South Carolina actually the safest option? According to an article in ProctorCars.com, some of the most popular cars in South Carolina include the following:

  • Ford F-150 (which is also the best-selling car throughout the country);
  • Chevrolet Silverado;
  • BMW 3 Series;
  • Nissan Altima;
  • Honda Accord;
  • Dodge Grand Caravan;
  • Dodge Ram 1500;
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee;
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class; and
  • Honda CR-V.

While these vehicles may be among the most popular vehicles purchased, the most commonly owned car in South Carolina, according to an article in Popular Mechanics, is actually the BMW 760. Why are these vehicles so popular among Columbia and Myrtle Beach residents? According to the article, the popularity of these automobiles likely has to do with the fact that BMW has a manufacturing plant in our state. As such, “the BMW 760 sells at 935 percent of the national average.”

Top Safety Picks According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

But are these cars actually the safest options on the road? To answer that question, we would like to explore a recent list of “Top Safety Picks” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS lists its safety picks in categories related to the size of the vehicle, and it ranks according to a “top safety pick” and “top safety pick PLUS.” To provide you with a list of the safest cars on the market, here is a list of some of the cars that made the “top safety pick PLUS” rating:

  • 2017 Chevrolet Volt with optional front crash prevention;
  • 2017 Hyundai Elantra sedans built after March 2016 with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights installed;
  • 2017 Mazda 3 with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Subaru Impreza with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Toyota Corolla;
  • 2017 Toyota Prius vehicles built after August 2016;
  • 2017 Honda Accord 4-door sedan with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Mazda 6 with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Nissan Maxima with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Subaru Legacy with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Subaru Outback with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Toyota Camry with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Toyota Prius v with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Volkswagen Jetta with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Audi A3 with specific headlights;
  • 2017 Audi A4 with specific headlights;
  • 2017 BMW 2 series coupe models with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 BMW 3 series 4-door sedans built after November 2016 with optional crash prevention and specific headlights;
  • 2017 Lexus ES 350 with specific headlights;
  • 2017 Volvo S60 with specific headlights; and
  • 2017 Volvo V60 with specific headlights.

The list also includes certain SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. You might notice that, while some BMW models made the list, the BMW 760—the most popular car in South Carolina—is not on the list.

Understanding Safety Features

As you can see, there are certain elements that the cars listed above tend to have in common, including front crash prevention technology and headlights specifically designed with safety in mind. In addition to advanced headlight systems that provide drivers with better sight in the dark and crash-prevention technology, what are some other safety features you should seek out in a vehicle? According to an article in NerdWallet.com, the following safety features may help to prevent a serious car crash:

  • Automatic parking;
  • Adaptive cruise control;
  • Forward-collision prevention and automotive emergency braking;
  • Lane monitoring or lane-departure warning system;
  • Blind-spot monitoring;
  • Backup camera; and
  • Alertness monitoring.

Contact a Columbia, SC Car Accident Attorney

If you have concerns about automotive safety, or if you have questions about filing an accident claim, an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer can assist you. Contact Joye Law Firm today to get started.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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