10 Safety Checks to Make Before You Buy

Written by Adam Fletcher

From crash tests to child seats, here's what to look for when comparing vehicle safety When choosing a new car, consider government crash-test ratings, as well as features like head restraints, electronic stability control, and rollover resistance.

There are many factors to consider when evaluating a vehicle's overall safety. They range from how it performs in an emergency-handling situation or protects its occupants in a collision to how easy it is to secure a child seat. When comparing vehicles, it's important to look at allrepparttar appropriate variables, including safety-related ratings and features. Below, we list 10 safety checks that are worth reviewing before you make your final buying decision. 1. Government crash-test ratings The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts two types of crash tests: full frontal and side impact. Each is scored on a five-star scale, with fewer stars indicating a greater likelihood of serious injury. You can checkrepparttar 149634 scores for all crash-tested vehicles online at www.safercars.gov.

NHTSA's frontal test is a good indication of how well a vehicle's safety belts and air bags protectrepparttar 149635 occupants in specific types of impacts. The frontal test runs vehicles into a rigid barrier at 35 mph. That simulates a head-on collision between two vehicles of similar weight, each traveling at 35 mph. Instrumented crash dummies inrepparttar 149636 two front seats recordrepparttar 149637 crash forces they sustain and scores are assigned forrepparttar 149638 driver and front passenger.

NHTSA's side-impact test simulates a vehicle traveling at 17 mph being hit onrepparttar 149639 side by a 3,000-pound car traveling at 34 mph. Scores are assigned torepparttar 149640 driver andrepparttar 149641 left-rear passenger.

2. Insurance-industry crash-test ratings The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a safety-research group that conducts its own series of crash tests. In its frontal-offset crash, a vehicle is run at 40 mph into a deformable barrier. Instead of engagingrepparttar 149642 whole width ofrepparttar 149643 car's front end,repparttar 149644 barrier covers justrepparttar 149645 40 percent ofrepparttar 149646 car directly in front ofrepparttar 149647 driver.

Using a deformable barrier simulates a car-to-car, driver's-side-to-driver's-side collision, which is a common form of fatal crash. By focusingrepparttar 149648 crash on only a portion ofrepparttar 149649 car's front, this test severely stressesrepparttar 149650 car's structural integrity and its ability to protectrepparttar 149651 area aroundrepparttar 149652 driver without collapsing.

The IIHS scores its frontal-crash results as Good, Acceptable, Marginal, or Poor. You can find ratings for all tested vehicles atrepparttar 149653 IIHS Web site, www.hwysafety.org.

Recently,repparttar 149654 IIHS has also begun conducting its own side-impact tests, which simulate being hit by a truck instead of NHTSA's 3,000-pound car. However, many vehicles have not yet been tested.

Bothrepparttar 149655 IIHS and NHTSA crash-test results are comparable only to vehicles withinrepparttar 149656 same weight class asrepparttar 149657 tested car. If vehicle weights are very dissimilar,repparttar 149658 results could be very different.

3. Accident avoidance A vehicle's ability to help you avoid an accident is just as important as its crashworthiness. Key factors to consider are braking and emergency handling, although acceleration, visibility, driving position, and even seat comfort (which affects driver fatigue) also play a role.

4. Air bags By law, every new passenger vehicle comes equipped with dual front air bags. Butrepparttar 149659 sophistication ofrepparttar 149660 systems can vary. It's worth checking what type of air-bag systems a vehicle has, both inrepparttar 149661 front and rear.

Many upscale vehicles now have some version of a "smart" air-bag system. It uses electronic sensors to gauge several variables, which, depending onrepparttar 149662 model, include crash severity, safety-belt use,repparttar 149663 position ofrepparttar 149664 driver's seat, andrepparttar 149665 weight and/or position of an occupant inrepparttar 149666 front-passenger seat. This information is used to tailorrepparttar 149667 deployment ofrepparttar 149668 vehicle's front and side air bags.

Dual-threshold and multi-stage front bags can deploy with varying force, depending on crash severity. In a lower-level collisionrepparttar 149669 bags inflate with limited force. In a more severe crash,repparttar 149670 bags inflate with more force and more quickly. Many systems withhold deployment onrepparttar 149671 passenger side ifrepparttar 149672 seat is unoccupied (to save money on replacement) or ifrepparttar 149673 seat is occupied by a person below a certain weight (to prevent possible injury fromrepparttar 149674 bag).

Side air bags are now common for front occupants. The basic side air bag deploys fromrepparttar 149675 seatback or door, and is designed to protect a person's torso. Separate side bags that protectrepparttar 149676 head are becoming increasingly available, as well. The most common design is a side-curtain bag that drops down fromrepparttar 149677 headliner and covers bothrepparttar 149678 front and rear windows. Consumer Reports highly recommends head-protection side air bags where they're available.

Side torso air bags are also included inrepparttar 149679 rear seats of some models, but these can pose a risk for smaller children sitting out of position inrepparttar 149680 outboard seat positions. In some models, rear side bags need to be activated byrepparttar 149681 dealer.

5. Antilock brake system (ABS) CR's auto experts highly recommend getting an antilock brake system (ABS), which is available as standard or optional equipment on most vehicles. ABS preventsrepparttar 149682 wheels from locking up during a hard stop, something that can causerepparttar 149683 driver to lose control ofrepparttar 149684 vehicle. ABS almost always provides shorter stops, but, even more importantly,repparttar 149685 system helps keeprepparttar 149686 vehicle straight and allowsrepparttar 149687 driver to maneuver during a panic stop.

6. Rollover resistance Taller vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are more likely to roll over than passenger cars. According to NHTSA, SUVs have a rollover rate that is two to three times that of passenger cars. In 2002, 61 percent of all SUV fatalities and 45 percent of pickup-truck deaths wererepparttar 149688 result of a rollover. By contrast, only 22 percent of passenger-car fatalities were because of a rollover.

A taller vehicle has a higher center of gravity, which makes it more top-heavy than one that sits lower torepparttar 149689 ground. In a situation where a vehicle is subjected to strong sideways forces, such as in a sudden cornering maneuver, it's easier for a taller vehicle to roll over.

Inspired Songwriting

Written by Yuri Ivanov

Here are some exact examples of what you can do to set a song together.

You can get inspired by a number of methods such as:

1. A chord progression 2. A cool riff 3. A lead melody

One ofrepparttar things you require to do is generate a part that compliments your original idea such as adding a melody to a chord progression or adding up a chord progression to a melody.

Say you have a chord progression you truly like.

To make your musical painting, you have to know theoretically what key you're in. If you're weak on modal theory, but familiar with a scale or neck pattern that sounds fine against your chord progression, employ what you know to create a melody over it.

The easiest way to accomplish this is to find a multitrack recorder and record your chord progression on one track. Play it over and over a lot of times.

When you play it back, work out your melody on another track. As you're working on a melody line, try to take note for cool harmony among your melody and chord progression. If only one exacting note sounds totally great against one ofrepparttar 149611 chords, go with it and start building around that great relationship.

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