Safest Cars Bluffton SC

Tyson also quashed the common misconception about smaller cars being unsafe. "While there are some safer small cars in the market, the consumer needs to understand there are vehicles that are safer than others in every size range. If you have your heart set on a smaller vehicle, find one that scores the best.

Coliseum Motors
(843) 552-7773
4991 Dorchester Rd
North Charleston, SC

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American Auto Sales
(803) 222-2783
1141 S Main St
Clover, SC

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Payless Car Sales
(843) 225-5377
7610 Dorchester Rd
Charleston, SC

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J D Ez Auto Sales
(843) 719-5000
500 N Highway 52
Moncks Corner, SC

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Stateline Chrysler Jeep Dodge
(803) 396-1000
800 Gold Hill Rd
Fort Mill, SC

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R & R Motors
(803) 731-9904
2951 Broad River Rd
Columbia, SC

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UpstateRides.com
(864) 752-1550
PO Box 12065
Greenville, SC

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Bonaparte Automotive Llc
(843) 207-8230
7643 Dorchester Rd
North Charleston, SC

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Starmount Motors Llc
(803) 285-9565
1226 Great Falls Rd
Lancaster, SC

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Sterling Glass
(843) 637-9786
3508 South Live Oak Dr.
Moncks Corner, SC
 
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Safest Cars

Safest Cars on the Road: The Truth Behind Five-Star Ratings By Jon Alain Guzik, Editor-in-Chief

While options, good looks and the right price are all very important factors in choosing a new car, safety is paramount for many buyers.

Turn on the TV, pick up a newspaper, or check the banner ads on your favorite website and you'll see auto company after auto company boasting of its new vehicle's "five-star crash test rating."

But what exactly does a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) represent? And how should that affect your new car purchase?

"NHTSA is part of the federal government, and our funding is allocated by Congress," explains NHTSA spokesperson Rae Tyson. NHTSA has been testing front-side impact since 1978 for the 1979 model year, and side impact since 1996 for the 1997 model year. In 2001, it introduced the rollover test. All of these crash test ratings are on a five-star scale.

"NHTSA buys all of the test vehicles randomly without the manufactures knowing who we are," says Tyson. "That way we get a good sample of everyday vehicles."

The administration tests the vehicles in the three different ways. It awards a maximum of five stars in each category, with the frontal rating based on the risk of head and chest injury, the side rating based on chest injury, and the rollover test gauging a vehicle's stability.

"Rollover is critical for a category that is very rollover prone, like an SUV, pick-up, or van," continues Tyson. "We do rollover testing for everything, including passenger vehicles. Rollover is not just a problem restricted to light trucks alone."

Tyson advises potential buyers to look at the numbers published on safercar.gov (NHTSA's consumer website) to find out how well a vehicle fares.

Have the ratings improved since testing began almost 30 years ago? "There really isn't any question about it," explains Tyson. "Most of the vehicles we are testing are getting such good crash test scores that we are working on a top-to-bottom review to figure out ways to make the testing much tougher."

Tyson says there are a few features that deserve close consumer attention, including electronic stability control, especially on SUVs and pick-ups. Anti-lock brakes and some sort of side impact protection, like side curtain airbags, are also important. "While side airbags are not a government requirement," he says, "they are an option well worth having." When it comes to SUVs, it's especially important to look at rollover ratings as well.

Tyson also quashed the common misconception about smaller cars being unsafe. "While there are some safer small cars in the market, the consumer needs to understand there are vehicles that are safer than others in every size range. If you have your heart set on a smaller vehicle, find one that scores the best.

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