Safety is the name of the game for Cheryl Berardi. The New Hampshire resident has had an unlikely knack for getting into collisions. The majority of her previous vehicles have been retired due to damage, and she’s overcome her fair share of bumps and bruises throughout the years. One accident even caused her to crack one of her ribs, as the airbag’s deployment was too quick for her body to adjust.
When her 1999 Volkswagen Passat was rear-ended by another driver, the unexpected damage ended up totaling her ride. As a result, Cheryl was forced to buy a new vehicle, and she prioritized safety above all else. That led her to the 2013 Chevy Cruze.
“The accident was a bit unexpected, and I was struggling a bit financially,” she explained. “My options were pretty limited based on my budget, but that was fine. I didn’t need all the glitz and glamour. I just wanted the car to have a bunch of safety features.”
Cheryl ended up purchasing the vehicle, and she quickly learned what the car had to offer. Within one month of purchasing the ride, Berardi found herself in another accident. Did the Cruze fare better than her previous vehicles? Let’s find out…
There was no denying that the Cruze delivers when it comes to safety. The 2013 model earned a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an indication that the nameplate is among the safest options in the class.
Cheryl claimed that her previous ride didn’t have half of the amenities as her 2013 model, but that wasn’t only due to the discrepancy in model years. The Cruze is jam-packed with preventative and protective safety features, keeping all of the vehicle’s occupants protected.
Technological features like stability and traction control provide dependable performance and handling. While drivers may worry about spinning out or losing control of their ride, these systems will ensure that your vehicle stays on track. Meanwhile, the electronic brakeforce distribution provides optimal stopping power for those unexpected situations.
“You usually overlook those types of features,” she explained. “I only learned about them after having done some research online. I never recognized that they were actually working while I was actually driving. I’ll tell you though, I was always spinning out during my commute to work in the winter. I haven’t had those issues in the Cruze.”
Speaking of the winter, the Cruze is ready to overcome any terrible weather conditions. The four-wheel antilock brakes will prevent you from losing control when you brake on a sleek surface, and the all-season tires (accompanied by 16-inch wheels) provide the best possible grip with the road. Since purchasing her Cruze, Berardi hasn’t found herself in any weather-related accidents.
Among all of the included safety features, Cheryl has particularly appreciated the tire pressure monitoring system, which alerts the driver when their tires are dangerously deflated.
“I had several accidents that were caused by faulty tires,” she said. “That responsibility obviously comes down to the driver, but I’m not going to act like I’m some automotive expert. If the tire looks good, I assume it’s fine. With the monitoring system, I’m actually told when I should add some air.”
With a number of young grandchildren and a bunch of busy children, Cheryl often finds herself watching the kids or transporting them to different practices. The rear door child safety locks guarantee that their doors won’t randomly pop open, and the child seat anchors will keep the younger occupants safe and secure.
Predictably, Cheryl found herself in another accident shortly after having purchased the Chevy Cruze. She was zooming down the highway when the car in front of her suddenly applied their brakes. Thanks to the brakeforce distribution, Berardi didn’t have any issues adjusting.
It was a different story for the driver behind her. Their vehicle ended up slamming into the back of her Cruze, sending her into the car in front of her. Berardi was prepared for the worst.
“I took a deep breath and said ‘here we go again,'” she recalled.
First off, the Cruze’s body prevented Cheryl from even feeling sore the next morning. The vehicle presumably absorbed the majority of the impact’s energy, preventing it from reaching the driver. The front air and side-mounted airbags both deployed, and they ultimately served their purpose. Instead of opening too rapidly and injuring the driver, the vehicle provided the proper amount of cushion. Plus, the Cruze recognized that she was riding alone, so the accompanying sensors determined that more airbags weren’t actually needed.
Most impressive was her exterior. The sturdy steel cage did an excellent job of minimizing damage. The bumper was smashed and her hood was a bit bent, but she was still able to drive her Cruze for some time. Eventually, she took the vehicle to a professional, who restored the Cruze back to new. This was a far cry from her previous vehicles. A similar accident usually meant that Cheryl needed to pursue a new car, or it at least that she’d be without a vehicle for some time. The repairs took less than 48 hours, and Cheryl was back on the road in no time.
However, that wasn’t particularly important to her. Instead, she was happy that she exited the vehicle in one piece.
“I told everyone that I wanted safety features, and they’d look at me like I was crazy,” she said. “They ended up working out for me, right? I find myself in so many car crashes, it’d be silly not to add them.”
Cheryl isn’t solely a fan of the vehicle’s safety, although she values it above all else. The vehicle also provides a surprisingly powerful 1.4-liter engine (138 horsepower, 148 pounds-feet of torque), enough style and technology to impress any admirer, and an array of comfort features.
“I didn’t expect the Cruze to come with everything it did,” she said. “I would have been happy with a bicycle. All of these features… they’re really something else.”
Of course, as it usually has, it all comes back to safety with Berardi, and she’s happy with what she’s experienced from her Cruze.
“Who knows what could have happened if I was in the crash in my old Volkswagen?” she said. “At least I know that the Cruze is going to keep me safe.”