Car Risk Management

My wife and I have read in a book (of which I cannot find anything relevant via search engines) where the author interviewed a Jewish acquaintence about his spending habits of penny pinching on purchases but was living at a pricey hotel and was told that because a person has only one life, one can never spend too much on personal safety and that's why he was living in a hotel. So, the closest thing I found was a jewish article on risk management. The most interesting quote:
while we may not take indiscriminate risks, we may go about normal activities of daily living with the guarantee of heavenly protection. This is derived from the book of Psalms that states: "God watches over the simple."
Anyway, this book made us very risk aware with cars and their size. Accidents are number killer in the US, from age 1 to 44, especially auto accidents. So, we wanted a safe, reliable car and for our first car as a family in the US, we bought a 740 Volvo (used) which is still running today. Our second was Expedition -- we needed more space than typical minivan (ours seat 9 people) and we wanted 4WD/AWD. As much as cars have become safer, our thinking is that having more metal and more space between our bodies and other cars would be a good thing. There is price to pay in terms of poorer mileage but we view it as a life insurance payment. Or to put it another way, what good is it to save a few bucks of gas per trip if you loose your life? Penny wise and pound foolish. (Our plan is to replace our Volvo with a full size pickup with crew cab, like F150 Supercrew or similar sized pickup.)

We also (try to) drive defensively, we always keep our head lights on, always make everyone in our car wear seat belts (one story I've heard in a defensive driving class was how one driver wore his belt but the passenger behind him didn't and when the car crashed, the passenger (being unbuckled) smashed into the driver, who died but the passenger survived -- ever since I heard that, I won't allow anyone behind me ride without their belts on). My former employer required all employees to take safe driving courses and one of the rules which I follow to this day is to always back into a parking stall (not practical for our garage but for almost all parking spots, I try to), this is because when you park your car, you can see the surrounding conditions (pedestrians, other cars, etc.) before you get into the stall but if you back out of a parking stall then the time between getting in the car and starting the engine and then finally backing out, the context around you will have changed while you were busy preparing (unless your car is the only one parked and you have clear view of the 2 sides).

Bicycling and even walking on the street (or waiting for light change at an intersection) takes on a new meaning of risk management after learning defensive driving techniques. As one instructor puts it, no law can prevent a car from hitting you, especially as a pedestrian, no matter how much right of way you have.

Keep in mind that this is risk management we are talking about: we don't drive around on a bus or semi-trailer truck but we did buy the biggest SUV which would fit in our garage (we didn't think Suburban would fit and because we have tornado's and hail storms here in central Texas, we almost always garage our cars).