Choosing a Safe Family Car
The highest priority in purchasing a family car is safety—choosing a car that has well-engineered airbags and seat belts/head restraints and good ratings in crashworthiness tests. Handling, strong braking, performance and stability control allow a car to transport its passengers safely. But there's a lot more you can look for in a vehicle to help your family stay safe on the road.
- RELATED: The Best Car for Your Family
Electronic Stability Control (aka as Dynamic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Control, etc.) is a computerized technology that improves a vehicle’s stability by sensing its loss of traction. It momentarily brakes one or more wheels depending on the system in order to avoid skids or slides, in order to keep the vehicle in an intended direction.
Proper Tire Inflation is vital to well-controlled avoidance maneuvers. Check inflation as often as once a month.Since tires affect the vehicle’s overall handling, ride, braking, they must have the proper air pressure, tread depth, balance, and alignment. Tire pressure checks should be done monthly and if motorists drive over rough terrain, live in cold climates or drive long distances, for safety’s sake, they should check their tires more often.
Rearview Cameras make it safer to back up a sedan, minivan, or SUV that has poor rearward visibility.(All passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. are now required to have backup cameras.)
Side-Curtain Airbags protect/cushion usually the front and rear seats during a side impact or rollover, though they can also protect third-row passengers in some larger vehicles during a side impact or rollover.
Lane-Departure Warning (LDW) alerts the driver if they drift their vehicle out of its lane. LDW was created to warn a driver by chimes or vibration to take corrective action immediately which can prevent collisions and run-off-road accidents. Lane-Keeping Assist takes action by gently steering a motorist back into their lane if they deviate from it.
ABS Antilock Brakes ABS is a computer-controlled system that prevents brakes from locking up and tires from skidding when braking forcefully; it allows the driver to retain steering control while braking.
OnStar is an in-vehicle telematic safety service that vehicle owners can layer on, with features including Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Roadside Assistance and Stolen Vehicle Assistance and Turn-by-Turn Navigation.
2018 Chevrolet Equinox
After personally testing the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox ourselves, we knew it to be the ultimate family car. And by test drive, we mean scaling the Rocky Mountains and other diverse terranes throughout Colorado and Utah to ensure a thorough inspection. We found that this vehicle goes above and beyond, even during more consistent drives to soccer practice or the grocery store. Let’s just say the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox thinks when you forget to with these high-tech features that will keep your family safe and make your life easier.
Lane Keep Assist: With the help of a forward-looking camera and sensor detectors, this car provides a momentary steering wheel input that will guide you back into your lane if the vehicle drifts over a detected line without the intention of steering or using a signal. If lane drifting continues to occur, you will hear a faint beep and the Safety Alert Seat pulses underneath you to give you a more obvious, yet not alarming warning.
Surround Vision: This feature provides a bird’s eye view of the vehicle during low-speed maneuvers with the use of four cameras as if someone is videotaping you from the sky.
Forward Collision Alert: Using forward-facing cameras and/or radar, the 2018 Chevrolet Equinox can provide audio and visual signals when you are following to close to a car.
Rear Seat Reminder: The mind of a parent is always going, so, Chevrolet is introducing this feature to help remind you that there is something in your back seat before you exit your vehicle—may it be a dog, a little one, or maybe those groceries that need refrigerator attention fast.
Teen Driver Technology: This feature is a complete game-changer when trusting your new driver. Chevrolet now collects data while your teen is driving that offers a report card of their performance (distance, max speed, wide open throttle, forward collision alerts and breaking, and traction control) while you’re not in the vehicle. Not only does the radio automatically mute if a front seat passenger isn’t wearing a seatbelt, but parents can set radio volume and top speed limits.
Max Cargo Space: The 2018 Chevrolet Equinox offers 63.5 cubic feet of max cargo space, perfect for Costco runs, sports gear, and everything in between—all at once.
Stain and Scuff Resistant Interior: This car is the epitome of accident-proof with its dream interior fabric that doesn’t absorb spills. That’s right, any liquid beads above the surface for an easy wipe-up, meaning the more muddy dogs and kids, the better.