checking tire tread

Used Car Safety Considerations

All cars are a set of compromises including size, manufacturer, age and horsepower. And the list goes on. One of the really important factors that isn’t usually considered is the safety component. Let’s look at just a few of the issues to consider.

Size does matter in a collision. Except for a few high end new cars, an SUV has more survivability than a subcompact. Some SUVs have had a problem with a tendency to roll over. That is because of a high center of gravity coupled with low tire pressure. Research vehicle stability before making that purchase.

The presence of air bags is important. When you check the car (or have your auto technician check it), make sure that the air bags really work. They are very expensive to replace, especially if they have been deployed in an accident and not replaced. Newer cars include side curtain airbags to protect occupants from side collisions. Seat belts help keep you in the seat.

Older model cars seldom have ABS brakes. The major advantage to ABS brakes is emergency braking. Stopping on black ice isn’t guaranteed, but the ABS brakes absolutely help in rain or sudden stops on dry pavement.

Transporting small children raises the need for a secure child seat attachment point in the back seat. Make sure there is an attachment point on the shelf or that the seat belt will properly fit over the seat.

Cruise control is not often thought of as a safety device. There is, however, plenty of data to support using cruise control to reduce fatigue, improve alertness and give better fuel mileage. Being more alert is much safer.

Tires will make or break (brake) you. They are the only connection between your car and the road. If the tires have less than 4/32″ tread depth you need to get replacements as soon as possible. The tread depth is the way water or snow is dispersed from under the tire. If the water or snow is trapped there, the tire rides on top of the water or snow and you hydroplane. Any control you had is gone.

Tire pressure monitoring systems help you keep the tires properly inflated. Overinflated tires contribute to a harsh ride. Under inflated tires allow excessive sidewall flex which contributes to tire overheating and can result in blowouts. Under inflated tires also decrease your fuel mileage.

Check this video for more info on tire tread…