Comparing luxury to economy cars is like comparing apples to oranges. State-of-the-art technology in luxury cars seems way ahead of the average sedan with standard safety measures. Yet both these types can still barrel down highways at high speeds, so whether you own a luxury, midrange, or economy-type vehicle, you have to look out for your safety.
For the sake of clarity, luxury cars as defined in this article include models from luxury brands that cost upward of $30,000, while economy cars can go as low as $14,000.
What Makes Cars Safer?
Speed – In Clearwater, FL, speeding is one of the most fatal car crash factors as excessive speeding caused thirty percent of traffic fatalities. Studies show that those who travel past 50 mph double the crash force impact with every 10 mph increase. This is something that a car accident attorney in Clearwater would want to take note of for traffic accidents or collision cases. While there is no technology that removes driver recklessness, active speed limit displays in luxury cars can encourage responsible driving or serve as proof of speeding.
Lights – The majority of car accidents happen after the sun has set, risking the lives of drivers and pedestrians alike. While factors such as alcohol and fatigue contribute to these accidents, reduced visibility remains to be the most pressing cause of night accidents. At night, drivers are reliant on headlights to guide them. However, low beam standard headlights put vehicles at risk for speeds above 45 mph due to limited visibility.
Night Vision System – A more modern feature for cars include night vision systems that help drivers see better with the help of infrared or thermal cameras. Night vision systems are capable of detecting objects up to 500 feet away, while headlights provide visibility for up to 180 meters only.
Advanced Navigation System – Higher-end cars such as Cadillac, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have head-up displays (HUD) that show speed and navigation instructions nearer to the driver’s line of vision, as opposed to the middle of the car as is standard for the economy to mid-range vehicles. These advanced systems keep the driver’s eyes on the road, limiting distractions.
Anti-Collision Systems – Safety systems reached incredible heights with the introduction of blind spot cameras, but car makers went the extra mile to create a network of sensors that can help them detect signs of danger, or work to find how fast cars around you are moving to assist you in changing lanes. Anti-collision systems effectively correct your steering when you drift off to sleep and start swerving in other lanes, making them very effective as safety features.
Luxury vs. Economy Cars
Cars are the second key financial decision for many, second only to housing. A study from the International Review of Economics said that luxury car owners are not any more or less happier than their more frugal counterparts as they have the same comfort and convenience.
In terms of safety, higher-end economy models have additional safety features such as lane keep assist, alerts, and a good navigation system, but luxury vehicles have these safety features in their base models. Furthermore, luxury cars rank better in terms of crash testing.
California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company Kelley Blue Book rated the safest sedans for 2021. Of the top safest models, the top two, the 2021 Acura TLX and the 2021 Lexus ES are luxury models. The next three, the 2021 Honda Civic, the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid, and the 2021 Toyota Camry, are economy to mid-range cars.
Mid-range cars dominated the safest SUV list, with the 2021 Kia Telluride named the safest SUV by Kelley Blue Book. Other cars on the list are the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Toyota RAV 4, 2021 Hyundai Palisade, and the 2021 Mazda CX-30.
Safety Tips For Drivers
Safety features can help mitigate disasters, but humans still have to take control of the vehicle. Here are some tips for safe driving:
Practice defensive driving – Defensive driving means that you are aware of what others around you are doing, all the while expecting the unexpected. Always have a two-second distance between you and the car in front of you, four for bad weather.
Make a driving plan – Before you put your car in gear, make sure that you have your seat, mirrors, and climate controls adjusted to the most comfortable and prime settings to ensure safe driving. For long trips, take the time to schedule stops such as food, and rest breaks. If you feel hungry or if you need to use the restrooms, pull over as soon as you can to avoid accidents.
Avoid distractions – As much as possible, focus on the road ahead. Don’t use your phone or other electronic devices. If you must, use bluetooth connectivity to limit distractions. In case objects fall on the floor, pull over. Do not attempt to pick them up in a running vehicle.
Things To Consider
While luxury cars can be safe and comfortable, they do come with a price, literally. Before committing to a luxury vehicle, you may want to check whether or not the safety features that you want in your car are available for higher-end economy models. While they may not include plush carpeting or genuine leather seats, your safety is the priority and these lower-range models can also be well-equipped for safety. After all, not all in the top safest cars are luxury brands — they can be your basic car, as well.
It is important to take note that while luxury brands boast a lot of state-of-the-art technology, sometimes they just add more complications than functionality or efficiency. Whether or not you will pick an economy or luxury car will be your choice. Luxury cars generally do very well in tests as they offer great performance and comfort, but there is a lot that economy brands can offer as well. Make sure that when buying a car, you check the standard equipment list and advanced safety equipment.
In the end, whether you choose an economy car or a luxury brand, vehicle safety largely depends on the driver as much as the vehicle itself. A responsible driver in any car will remain safer compared to an irresponsible or negligent one. However, if you can, you may want to invest in helpful features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, and collision-mitigation systems that are now available for higher-end economy cars and mid-range models.