Shopping for a new car can be overwhelming, especially with the abundance of new features most cars offer today. You may be considering the latest built in GPS system or voice activated controls, but what should you be focusing on in terms of safety?
The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) has determined “10 Car Safety Features That Could Save Your Life”:
1. Lane Departure Warning Systems – sensors imbedded all around the vehicle warn you through either vibrations or noise/light alerts when you are leaving your lane. This is particularly useful if you are drifting due to drowsy driving, lapses in attention, poor visibility, etc.
2. Enhanced Visibility – newest models offer infrared night vision to detect obstacles out of the range of your headlights, such as deer or other animals. Other models offer adaptive headlights which move as you turn, helping you see around bends.
3. Rearview Camera – a rearview mirror camera mounted on the back of your car, which feeds into a screen easily viewable by the driver. This is especially useful when in reverse.
4. Reverse Backup Sensors – sensors with or without a camera feed that detect the distance between you and other objects, alerting you of something in your path before you back up into it.
5. Automatic Breaking – a radar on the front of the car detects the distance between you and the object in front of you, and can help prevent a collision or lessen the impact.
6. Forward Collision Avoidance System – also known as a pre-crash warning system, it is usually combined with automatic breaking, and warns drivers through visual or auditory cues that they are quickly approaching something.
7. Side view Assist – sensors detect whether an object is in your blind spot, which can be particularly useful when changing lanes on the highway
8. Parking Assist – if you’re not good at parallel parking, this feature can help prevent a lot of fender benders. The car will guide you into the starting position, and from there you can take your hands off the wheel and let the computer take over.
9. Electronic Stability Control – not a new feature, but definitely something to consider. This helps a vehicle when it is swerving by applying the brakes only on individual wheels that need it to allow the driver to gain control again. This feature is now standard on all 2012 or later models.
10. Air Bag Systems – another one that’s been around for a while, but it’s not the same as when it first came out. Each year the airbags get more and more advanced; since 2006, all passenger vehicles have been made with Advanced Frontal Airbag Systems, which detect size and position of the passenger to the severity of the crash, to gauge how forcefully the bags should inflate. When looking at this feature, go for as many airbags as possible (side, rear, passenger).
While many of these features are cutting edge, it is predicted that they will be trickling down into mid-range cars within the next few years. If you can afford them, some of these features could be the difference between a fatal accident and a lifesaver. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident due to another driver’s negligence, contact us today.