Car buyers reminded: Belts, warnings beat bells, whistles

It's better to drive safely than be sorry you spent all that money on extras and ignored the essentials, a California insurance agency reminded car buyers recently.

On its website, Novato-based Anixter & Oser said that recent technological advances didn’t prevent fatal car accidents from jumping 7.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 – the biggest increase since 1966, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The problem, the agency said, is that even if cars are safer, drivers might not be. That means they need to consider every safety option when looking for a new car, including collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, corrective steering, a backup camera and electronic stability control.

“[No] matter how many bells and whistles your car has, remember they’re no substitute for good driving habits,” the agency said. “You still need to buckle up, stay alert, mind the speed limit, avoid distractions, [and] drive for the weather conditions.”

The agency said buyers should also look at options like blind-spot detection, adaptive headlights that shift as the vehicle takes curves, and automated crash notification, which signals first responders.

Besides the obvious reasons for staying safe, the agency offered another good one: It might save drivers on insurance costs.

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Organizations in this story

Anixter and Oser, Inc 205 San Marin Drive Novato, CA 94945