CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Safest Sedans

Hello,
Safety is very important for me. I would like to ensure that my next car is one of the safest sedans. According to some crash tests Dodge Dart seems like the safest. What do you think about these tests? What are the safest sedans?

You may like this site


My belief is driver awareness and conscious ability to stay in a position where you have a way out of any danger is more important than all the safety that can be built into a car.
Simple things like the light turns green, you make sure no one is running the light before you go. Highway in case of sudden stop ahead be in left or right lane so you can bail to the side, always expect the other driver is going to do the stupidest thing possible so you are not surprised when they do. My last accident whatever alien, no insurance, no license, turned left in front of me while going through a green light. Officer “Are you sure the light wasn’t yellow?” No officer light was green I turn left and he hit me. Sometimes it happens to everyone. I understand your concern for the safest car, but I have never put that as a determining factor. Good Luck

Also, bear in mind, the safer car is the one that the driver is comfortable driving. That’s why it is important to test drive a few.

But how well will it fare against someone texting on their phone while driving an F-250?

A safe car also, is one that is reliable. You don’t want one that might stand a better chance of stranding you in the worse part of town or out in the boon docks. There are lots of considerations in car safety. And as implied by @galant , if the car needs good crash test results only to be considered safe, the driver or any of the other attributes that include appropriate tires, have failed. Walking away from a crash is secondary to never getting in one and car handling, tires, reliability, ease of operation, and most importantly, driver competence and experience …are all factors. I don’t see a Doge Dart as the safest car regardless of crash test results. Dumb blind luck is often just as important as ANY factor but putting yourself in the wrong situation by decisions you make before you even step into a car sometimes influences your luck too as attested by @barkeydog .

All modern cars are quite safe. The biggest liability is the driver by far!!! If you want to feel really safe, take an AAA safe driving course for $150 or so. They may call it “defensive driving”. but it really alerts you to your driving environment so you can AVOID collisions.

Over 85% of all car accidents are “driver error”, and only 5% are vehicle mechanical failure. Since 1964 cars have become progressively safer; we now have to work on driving skills.

@Doc
I agree driving skills and judgement are most important. Unfortunately. , some safety devices work against gain in driving skills. While they save lives, they insulate the driver from responsibility at times. It’s not an easy match and your suggestion that drivers take more worthwhile instruction in car handling is absolutely spot on.

Crash tests demonstrate how a car reacts when driven into a concrete wall at 45MPH…If that is what you plan to do with the car, then “crash test” results are important…But otherwise…

The problem with any test is doesn’t really match real world situations very well. The tests do show the differences in different cars effectively which is valuable.

For years the tests were straight head on, and straight rear end crashes at a specific speed. Cars were designed to do well in these test to get high ratings. However very few real world crashes are actually head on. Many are side impact, and many are off center front or rear crashes. These crashes result in spinning motions and that makes a big difference to what the occupants are put through. New testing procedures are now coming into play and car designs are responding to better protect the occupants of the car.

If you buy a midsized sedan, just get the newest model year available to get the best safety features. I got to drive an '12 Camry for a few days and there are airbags everywhere on this car. I’m sure the new Accord, Fusion, Camry, yadda yadda are all very safe cars. One might score a bit better in one test than another, but I consider any new car safe compared to the offerings just 5 years ago.

Size still matters. I’d stick with a midsize car and no smaller if safety is very important to you.

Here’s real world data on insurance payouts:

http://www.iihs.org/research/hldi/composite

The numbers are normalized to 100 - the average for all vehicles. Lower numbers are better. The safest cars would be the ones with the lowest personal injury payout. If you move around the tables, you will quickly see that the larger classes of vehicles tend to have more green scores. Also, 4WD and AWD vehicles tend to be green. Note that these scores are influenced by the drivers, since the scores represent real payouts by all US auto insurers. So, while the Porsche 911 and Chevrolet Corvette have far and away the lowest personal injury claims, they may not be your kind of car.

I’d put the Dart pretty low on my list, it’s extremely low rated overall by Consumer Reports. Here’s a good site that ranks cars by combining the various crash test ratings with the impact of size (bigger is definitely better):
http://www.informedforlife.org/

@UncleTubo 's idea seems about the most appropriate. Mid size cars Seem to give you the best balance between safety and economy. The new Accord 4cyl with CVT trans according to CR tested 40 mpg highway with an overall average of 35 mpg. That was nearly as good as the tested mileage of the Fit, a subcompact car. The Camry 4cyl is just behind and Fusion has a high mileage version. If you can afford it, IMO, they would be your safest choicest with comparable mileage to many compact and sub compact cars.
Why compromise safety when you can have it all ?

Ditto the others that safety is in the DRIVER and the car’s overall functions.
I’ve AVOIDED more potential accidents than I’ve ever been in.
why ?
Handling and power.
operator’s proper fit and ease of controls.

Playing bumper cars in a vehicle which can handle THAT…is not neccessarily ‘‘safe’’.

I don’t know if Dodge Dart is the best Sedan out there. If price is not an issue, then you should consider an Audi A6, or a BMW 5 Series, or even an Infiniti

One doesn’t have to spend big $$ to get a safe car. The BMW 5 is good, the Ford Taurus a bit better, the A6 is not as good as several other cheaper cars, safety-wise.