Purchasing a car, whether it’s new or used, is a very personal experience. The most important features vary greatly from person to person and change regularly as our needs change at different stages in our lives. We typically begin our lives with a “set of wheels”otherwise known as a “beater,” then move onto a stereo-on-wheels, then onto an extension of our business, then onto a functional family-friendly bus, then back to a stereo-on-wheels when we have our mid-life crisis, until we finally just want a good ride and a comfortable seat that supports our aching, aging body. However, there is one feature that people at every stage in life desire. That feature is the “let me walk away regardless of how badly I crash” button. While no such button exists, there is an easy way to compare the occupant protection and crash performance of nearly every vehicle sold in North America. Simply visit www.safercar.gov and lookup “5-Star Safety Ratings.” As always, it’s best to make informed decisions.