Are you planning on buying a new car in the Tampa, FL area? Choosing the right vehicle can minimize your chances of being injured in a car accident.

Obeying traffic laws and driving responsibly can also reduce your chances of being involved in an accident — but only to an extent. Unfortunately, you can’t control the choices others make behind the wheel. If you’re involved in an accident resulting from someone else’s negligence, the vehicle you’re driving can play a critical role in determining whether you’re seriously harmed. 

Certain safety features, such as automatic braking, can help you avoid accidents entirely, depending on the circumstances. That’s one of many reasons agencies and organizations conduct car safety tests. This overview will explain what some of those tests involve, as well as highlight the 15 safest cars for 2021.

Essential Car Safety Tests

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts a range of tests to determine how safe a vehicle is. The agency assigns safety ratings based on the results of these tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also conducts car safety tests

Some of the tests the NHTSA and IIHS conduct differ from each other. It’s wise to research both when purchasing a car. Comparing the ratings will help you make the most informed decision possible.

Some of the more noteworthy tests include the following:

Frontal Head-On Crash Tests

This test involves two vehicles of similar size crashing into one another head-on while traveling at a speed of 35 mph. The cars tested have two crash test dummies: one resembling an average man and one resembling an average woman.

Both crash test dummies wear seat belts. Experts evaluate the injuries the dummies sustain after the vehicles collide.

Overlapping Frontal Crash Test

This test is somewhat different from the one described above. It actually consists of several frontal crash tests in which vehicles are offset instead of colliding head-on entirely. These tests are conducted with vehicles traveling at 40 mph.

Side Crash Tests & Side Pole Tests

A side crash test involves a vehicle traveling at 38.5 mph colliding with the driver side of another vehicle. Crash test dummies are examined for injuries after the collision. A side pole test yields data regarding what might happen when a vehicle collides with a stationary pole.

Rollover Tests & Roof Strength Tests

The NHTSA conducts a test to determine the odds of a vehicle being involved in a rollover. The IIHS actually simulates a rollover. During this test, instruments measure the degree of force that would be necessary to crush a roof by five inches.

Car Safety & Technology

Agencies and organizations also account for a vehicle’s safety features when assigning a safety rating. 

New technology has allowed for additional features like:

  • Blind spot sensors
  • Automatic braking systems
  • Collision warning systems
  • Rearview cameras

You should familiarize yourself with the various safety features available in new cars. Make a point of buying one that’s equipped with features that can help you avoid an accident.

The 15 Safest Cars You Can Buy

You don’t have to check the NHTSA and IIHS databases yourself to learn which cars are the safest. U.S. News and World Report compiles this data annually. 

According to the publication’s 2021 report, the 15 safest cars on the road are:

  1. Toyota Camry (the safest car in the world)
  2. Honda Insight
  3. Kia Optima
  4. Subaru Impreza
  5. Honda Accord
  6. Mazda 3
  7. Hyundai Veloster
  8. Mazda 6
  9. Nissan Maxima
  10. Toyota Corolla
  11. Toyota Corolla Hybrid
  12. Subaru Legacy
  13. Volkswagen Passat
  14. Kia Cadenza
  15. Honda Civic

Both the NHTSA and IIHS have given the Toyota Camry a perfect rating. That doesn’t guarantee you will be unharmed if you drive a Toyota Camry. However, you should consider the Camry and the other 14 safest cars when looking for your new automobile.