All month long we've been talking about maintaining your current vehicle or preparing to safely purchase a good used car. Something you may take for granted is the safety featured of the car you're considering. Or maybe it's time to take stock of how safe your current vehicle is for you and your family. When choosing a car to buy you might want to be sure it offers modern safety features. Car safety features are getting more sophisticated and technologically advanced every day. Wich five safety features have had the biggest impact? #5: Lights Lights on automobiles have always been critical to driving safely. Brake lights, turn signals and headlights should be checked frequently to make sure they're operational at all times. And in case you didn't notice, turn signals only work if you use them! Another type of lighting used today is daytime running lights, which significantly increase the visibility of a vehicle in daylight and are a low-cost device that helps reduce daytime crashes. #4: Seat Belts Seat belts became mandatory standard equipment in vehicles starting in 1966 by federal regulation. It wasn't until 1984 that the first state law requiring motorists to use seat belts was put into effect by the state of New York. Seatbelts are proven to save lives and reduce injury so be sure to always Buckle UP! #3: Airbags In 1998 airbags became mandatory standard equipment on both sides of the front seat. Airbags have dramatically evolved since then to include front and side-impact airbags as well as sensors to determine exactly what level of power at which to inflate. Airbags save lives. You are 30% less likely to die in a front-end collision because of airbags. #2: Antilock Brakes During an emergency braking situation, in the very early days of automobiles, cars would swerve and skid to a stop. In the 1920's the swerving problem was eliminated with the addition of four-wheel brakes. Today, you can stop in a hurry on dry or wet surfaces with little or no skidding. Antilock braking systems allow drivers to safely maintain control of their vehicles. Most people can't imagine driving a car that doesn't have this valuable technology. #1: YOU This safety feature is often overlooked and is by far the most important in the operation of a vehicle. When a driver obeys the rules of the road, uses good judgment and pays full-time attention, everyone benefits from this safety feature. In Conclusion Safety on our roadways is improving all the time as a result of government regulation, constant improvements in technology, and good drivers like you! Keep up the good work and always drive safely.