Avoiding Tragedy, 5-Star Safety Ratings

2013-04-10T00:00:00Z Avoiding Tragedy, 5-Star Safety RatingsSteering You Right With Sharon Peters By Sharon Peters CTW Features nwitimes.com

Question:

We’ve had two really awful incidents lately of people backing up their cars and running over children. It made me wonder how common that is. Do you know?

Answer:

More than 50 children a week are backed over by vehicles, and most weeks, two of those incidents turn out to be fatalities, according to KidsandCars.org, a nonprofit that tracks safety issues related to children.

Most (about 60 percent) of the back-over accidents involve a truck, van or SUV, the organization reports, and in more than 70 percent of them, a parent or close relative was driving the vehicle.

And while we’re on the topic of vehicle-related dangers for children that we don’t often think about, power windows are a big one. According to the same organization, thousands of children have been killed or maimed or have come close to dying when power windows have trapped them. “It takes just 22 pounds of force to suffocate or injure an infant … power windows can exert an upward force of 30 to 80 pounds,” the informative website says.

Some safety groups have long lobbied for an anti-pinch auto reverse feature being standard on all power windows.

Question:

We’ve just had our first child and the grandparents want us to get rid of our (somewhat-junker) college car for a brand new one. They’re volunteering to pay but they’re insisting on a five-star safety rating. We’re not objecting! Everything we’ve looked at online or in lots up until now has had maybe four stars, even the higher-end ones we’re seeking out. Is there an easy way to find a list of all cars with five stars so we can work from there?

Answer:

Yes. Go to safercar.gov. Click on “5-star Safety Ratings” and you can search categories like “sedans” or “SUVs,” or you can search by manufacturer or model to learn which vehicles you think you might favor have received the coveted five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As we are not yet deeply into the 2013 model year, they have not yet rated every 2013 vehicle. The list is updated regularly, though.

© CTW Features

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