I’m in the market for a car. My last one was smashed up. Gam Zu le Tova. Even this is for the best.
I once wanted to find a car that runs on water. But I didn’t find any dealers.
So the next best thing I thought, was to get one that runs on ethanol. The gas is much cheaper. But some say that the lower price is a compensation for lower gas mileage.
But then I thought of another issue that is much more important than gas mileage.
You’re probably asking – “a Car?”
“What does that have to do with Judaism?”
Obviously you don’t want to be ostentatious. A modest car will do.
But the Torah says “Guard Very Much Your Souls.” (Devarim / Deut. 4:15)
Meaning be careful to be prudent to stay safe.
Stand far from rails in the subway. Don’t drive too fast. If tired driving take a break. Don’t talk or text on cell while driving…
The list goes on. Teach it to your children. (We offer a Free Health & Safety Coloring Book)
Many people spend time in cars – thus it make sense to make sure it is safe.
Safety aspects to consider are – airbags, side and front collision strength, etc.
Two websites that will let you know about the safety ratings of a vehicle is –
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute
Remember to purchase safe carseats before taking children.
The Second thing is to consider is what kind of kindness will you primarily be doing – to decide what kind of car you need. If it is to bring your kids to school – a mini-van or SUV might be in order. If it is to drive your mother around – consider a car that is easy to enter and exit. If you need to drive a handicapped person – find one that can accommodate a wheelchair.
Other Helpful websites when buying a car include:
J.D. Power – Car Ratings
Consumer Reports – they offer car-info with a paid subscription
Kelley Blue Book
Evaluate Your Safety
Ask Yourself are you a safe driver. Do People feel assured when driving with you?
Signs it is time to Drive More safely
or do they rush to get out of the car when you stop. Are they constantly telling you to slow down? Do dark haired people come out with white hair after a ride with you? Do your emotions control your speed? Do you text or hold phone while driving? Do you surf web? Do you program GPS in middle of route? Better to talk to GPS than to type. Do you enforce seat belts for people riding in car?
We pray not to get into accidents. We even have a special Jewish Traveler’s Prayer to arrive at our destination safely.
Prudence starts with the type of car. A SUV is usually safer than a compact car. Each time a person drives it is prudent to assure passengers always wear seat belts – even in back seats. Children should always be buckled before driving.
Better [to get there] late than never.