Shopping for a family car? Then safety is likely to be near the top of your list of priorities. It’s unthinkable for most parents to put their children at risk because of poor design.

Of course, the cost of living crisis means that our motoring budgets often end up stretched. But fortunately, there are ways of spreading the cost of a new vehicle that doesn’t compromise on essential safety features. You might finance the purchase using debt, and thereby spread the cost over a longer period. Contract hire GAP insurance will help you to do this while removing the risk of negative equity.

Given that there are so many excellent family-sized options available, there’s never been a better time to be in the market for one.

Stability controls

Modern cars come with many features designed to stabalise the ride and intervene when it looks like the driver has lost control of the vehicle. You might think of an automatic lane assist, which will nudge the car back into position when it detects that you are drifting into another lane.

Then there’s automatic emergency braking, which will apply the brakes when the vehicle in front of you stops unexpectedly. This will remove the bottleneck caused by human reaction time, and ultimately lessen the impact and likelihood of a rear-end collision.

Other safety features have been around for a little bit longer. Anti-lock braking systems will prevent the wheels from locking up by automatically applying (and releasing) the brakes very quickly. This will give you superior control of the vehicle, even in an emergency.

Cruise control

Cruise control is often thought of as a luxury – but on busy roads, it’s an important safety feature that will help you to maintain a given gap between your vehicle and the one in front. Not so long ago, cruise control meant keeping the vehicle’s speed at a fixed level, but nowadays it’s adaptive – which means that your speed will adjust to maintain the distance. If your car comes with adaptive cruise control, then invest a little bit of time in getting to grips with it. It’s a safety boon, particularly on busy roads.

Reversing camera

Reversing can be very dangerous because you don’t have a full and unimpeded view of the space behind the car. What if a child runs behind you unexpectedly? What if there are objects, like toys, sitting behind the car?

Here is where parking sensors and blind-spot assistants can come in very handy. Ideally, you’ll look for a car with a reverse-facing camera. Just remember that the camera is there to help, not to replace your mirrors.

Lane departure warning

If you’re slipping out of a lane, then your car might nudge you back, as we’ve mentioned. But it might also simply provide you with a warning. Many modern vehicles will also be able to guess your fatigue levels, based on your driving behaviour. If you’re getting distracted by the kids in the car, then these extra features might help to restore your attention to the road!