As safety features become an increasingly high priority for consumers, automakers have been adding safety features to their 2006 models, the Associated
Press reported.Though the Nation Highway Traffic Safety Administration projected a record-low in highway fatalities last year – 1.48 per 100 million miles traveled – carmakers feel the need to compete on safety.Many car buyers are now valuing safety features over others such as entertainment systems, according to the AP
report.In a 2004 JD Power survey, consumers pointed to safety products as eight of the top ten features they were likely to want in their next vehicle. Those included side airbags, advanced airbags that can regulate how forcefully they deploy, stability control, electronic traction control and High Intensity Discharge headlamps, which provide more light. All are becoming increasingly available on new models, although not necessarily in the $100 to $300 price range that consumers in the survey said they'd like.However, consumers should be aware that many features do not come standard on some vehicles, or they are not an available option at all.