• What are the Safest Cars to Drive Depending on Terrain

    You may know about the standard crash test safety ratings, but these “safest cars” are only tested under normal conditions on a paved road. For safety and a smooth drive even on rough terrain, you’ll need a good off road vehicle. If you’re thinking of doing a little off roading or driving under nonstandard conditions, you’ll need to find a vehicle with these safety features to suit the terrain.


    Off Roading

    For some standard off roading presenting countless bumps and rocks, you’ll want a sturdy vehicle with 4-wheel drive and heavy tires that are not easily punctured. Pickup trucks are commonly throught of as good off road vehicles, but they actually aren’t the best choice. Pickups tend to be very top heavy and therefore roll easily, which is not what you want on uneven terrain. A tough SUV is a better choice, or one of the newer trucks which has a low cab and therefore a lower center of gravity. You should also consider adding a roll cage, and never choose a car which is open on the top or sides.


    Rain

    When driving in rain, the vehicle itself is less important than the driver. As a driver, you should always have your headlights on when it is raining and never use your cruise control if it is more than a light drizzle. Use common sense to know how fast is appropriate depending on how heavy the rain is, and check the “Regular Conditions” section for safe cars.


    Ice and Sleet

    In slick conditions, the safest vehicles will have chains or at least studded rubber tires with a good, deep tread. 4 wheel drive is preferred, but if you only have rear wheel drive, make sure the snow tires go on the rear wheels. Be certain you have an emergency kit in your car, and don’t use cruise control or overdrive. The best cars for snow have a reasonably high ground clearance, like the Subaru Outback or Volvo XC90.


    Sand

    For taking an eventful drive through the dunes, you will need a car specifically meant for sand. Regular cars can easily be ruined by getting sand particles in their inner workings, and will sink into softer sand to be completely useless as a mode of transportation. Sand cars and dune buggies are meant for driving on sand, but this does not make them safe. Driving on sand is never going to be the safest idea, unfortunately, but you can be as safe as possible by always taking advantage of the available safety features and driving within your limits.


    Regular Conditions

    The safest cars around for regular conditions are those which have earned 5 star crash test safety ratings. For 2010, the top 5 safest cars are as follows: The Volvo XC60, Volkswagon Polo, Saturn Astra, Hyundai Genesis, and Ford Fusion Hybrid.

    Choosing the safest cars for the expected terrain and driving in a conscientious manner will help keep you and your family safe under all weather and road conditions.