New Car, Same Safety Concerns
When shopping for a new car, safety is certainly a prime concern, especially with the high road accident rates in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia is said to have the third highest number of road fatalities in the world.
While there is no substitute for conscientious driving, newer cars with stronger bodies and safety driving features can help to reduce accident risks.
Here’s a list of five top-rated cars in terms of safety, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2017 and 2018.
1. 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sedan
With Advance High-Strength Steel, the frame of this car is strong and reliable, providing a good foundation and start to its safety capabilities.
In addition, the car is equipped with a six-airbag system that is meant to protect the driver and passengers.
Apart from these safety features, the car is also equipped with electronic stability controls that reduce the probability of your car losing traction and spinning out of control.
Front and back safety sensors help with parking and a hill-start assist system provides support to prevent your car from dangerously rolling backward.
The 2017 Hyundai Elantra Sedan retails from RM109,888.
2. 2018 Mazda 3
There are loads of modern features on this car that make it quite a strong safety pick.
For instance, it comes with adaptive LED headlights that provide proper visibility at low speeds.
When at highway speeds, the headlight beams automatically adjust and extend to illuminate the road ahead to provide a generally clearer view for drivers.
This car is also equipped with a Blind-Spot Monitoring system that lets drivers know when a vehicle is approaching from behind that may not be visible due to blind spots.
It also has a Lane Departure Warning System that lets you know if you are veering out of your lane without meaning to.
The Smart City Brake Support on the other hand, is an intelligent monitoring system that informs you of possible front collisions.
The system brakes automatically, if necessary, to prevent accidents. But it only works between speeds of 4 to 30km/h. Thus, if you are speeding down a highway, this system might not be able to prevent a frontal collision.
The 2018 Mazda 3 retails from RM104,405.
3. 2017 Honda Accord 4-Door
This mid-size car is equipped with a number of smart safety features that more than earns its place on this list.
For starters, it comes with six airbags to protect the driver and passengers.
It is also equipped with a small camera (on the passenger’s side mirror) to improve visibility and reduce blind spots for drivers when changing lanes, with LANEWATCH.
With its multi-angle rear-view camera, drivers can better assess the situation behind them for safer reversing.
There are also two very important safety systems that improve the handling of this car, to reduce the chances of an accident. These are Motion Adaptive EPS, to control steering and related stability issues that could arise; and, Vehicle Stability Assist that supports smooth braking and overall handling.
Other safety features include Hill Start Assist as well as automatic emergency hazard light systems that alert other drivers in case you need to suddenly brake.
But what is likely the most interesting feature of this car is its G-Force control technology (G-Con) that attempts to absorb impact and thereby reduce injury to passengers.
The Honda Accord 4-door retails from RM148,512.
4. 2017 Toyota Camry
With multiple safety features and systems in place, there’s no wonder why this car is listed as one of the safest in its segments (mid-size car).
Let’s start with its Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control systems, which help maintain stability if the car is about to skid or lose control. It’s especially useful on slippery road surfaces.
It’s also equipped with special braking systems such as the Anti-Lock Brake System and Electronic Brake Force Distribution that ensure smooth and effective braking.
The Brake Assist feature puts forth more braking force if emergency braking is necessary. If braking suddenly (at speeds over 55km/h), the hazard lights will flash to warn other drivers. This will (hopefully) prevent or reduce the chance of your car being rear-ended.
This car is also equipped with seven airbags to protect the driver and passenger’s head and chest.
Like most of the cars on this list, this one is also equipped with hill-start assistance and a reverse camera (and sensor).
And here’s another highly important safety feature – the Global Outstanding Assessment body structure; it minimises the impact of a collision to protect passengers and the driver.
The Toyota Camry 2017 retails from RM153,800.
5. 2018 Kia Sorento
This mid-size SUV is formed with Advanced High-Strength Steel that gives it a stronger, safer structure.
Next, the Kia Sorrento is equipped with six airbags to protect the driver and front passenger if a collision occurs.
The Vehicle Stability Management system helps to enhance driving stability on slippery roads and to reduce the possibility of the car skidding or spinning out of control.
It is also equipped with Adaptive Front Lights that proportionately control and distribute lighting for higher visibility on darker roads.
The 2018 Kia Sorento retails from RM158,888.
*Some of the safety features mentioned may not be available with all variants or may be optional.
Do seek further information and pricing directly from the car manufacturer or sales centres.
Car Insurance and Road Safety
Car insurance is starting to play a big part in the realm of auto safety in Malaysia with the liberalisation of premiums.
Insurance providers are now more than ever encouraged to provide drivers with tools to prevent accidents. It is a win-win situation if insurance companies are able to reduce the likelihood of an accident or at least identify ‘riskier’ driver behaviour.
This way, road safety can be improved and there may be fewer claims paid out for preventable mishaps (this could also lower the cost of car insurance in the long run).
And as always, keep your eyes on the road!
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