When buying a car, one of a car’s most important features to consider is how it fares in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 5-Star Safety Ratings Program. Going further than the requirement of the Federal Law on crash protection and rollover safety of new vehicles, this rating was established by the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to inform consumers about the level of safety that a car can provide during an accident.

Frontal, side (barrier and pole crash), and rollover tests are the main tests conducted by the NHTSA since these types of accidents or situations are the most common on the roads of America.

To be sure, cross-check the safety ratings from both government agencies and private organizations, such as the United Services Automobile Association, for your car of choice. The NHTSA has a Vehicle Comparison Tool online that you can easily use to check 5-Star Safety Ratings.

In terms of the safety features of a car, there are now more features that improve car safety and help avoid accidents. Some new car models now have lane departure warnings that go off when it senses that you are veering outside of your current lane. Blind spot monitors and a 360-degree camera helps drivers when backing up or parking. Some cars now even have forward collision avoidance technology and adaptive cruise control, which monitors your speed and distance to the vehicle in front of you.

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