Innovative Vehicle Safety Features
Advancements in automotive safety technology have now created a world where the focus is rapidly shifting from bringing down the injury and death rates to averting a collision from happening in the first place. New cars are increasingly introducing cutting-edge safety features and systems that are geared towards accident prevention.
Here are some of the new and innovative safety and preventive systems that are likely to come across when you are looking to buy a new car.Forward Collision Warning
If you approach a slow or stalled vehicle and do not take any action to slow down or show any signs that you are braking, the forward collision warning mechanism will set off an alarm to alert you toward an impending collision. Some of the carmaker brand names for these forward collision systems are Forward Obstruction Warning at Mazda, Forward Collision Alert at Chevrolet and Forward Collision Warning at Infiniti.Do You Need It?
Yes, you do. The incidents of distracted driving have increased over the years due to the extensive use of handheld communication devices. This system can serve as an extra pair of eyes to alert you towards an impending collision. This technology is also recommended by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).Automatic Emergency Braking
By 2022, automatic emergency braking will be a regular safety feature on almost all trucks and cars. The rapid adoption of this system is attributable to an agreement between the NHTSA and most car manufacturers. The vehicle will automatically apply brakes if it senses an impending collision to reduce or avoid damage.
It is often promoted as a bundled feature with forwarding collision warnings. It comes with brand names such as Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation at BMW, Safety Automatic Braking at Volvo, and Low-Speed Forward Automatic Braking at Cadillac.Do You Need It?
Yes, you do. In fact, this mechanism is fast becoming a standard feature in the new automobiles, which speaks about its effectiveness and importance.Adaptive Cruise Control
This mechanism is targeted more towards the reduction of the driver’s weariness on the highway rather than being an active safety feature. For instance, if you set the cruise control at 70 mph, and if you catch up to another vehicle or one enters your lane, adaptive cruise control will apply brakes to reduce the speed of your vehicle to slow it down.
It will then follow the vehicle ahead at a pre-determined distance. The brand names for this mechanism are relatively similar across the board, for instance, Autopilot at Tesla, Super Cruise at Cadillac, and ProPilot Assist at Nissan.Do You Need It?
It really depends on your specific needs and driving style. This mechanism warrants that you are agreeable to the idea of your car speeding up and down automatically. If you are not comfortable with that or do not use cruise control entirely, you could avoid spending money on this feature (though cruise control is salient for long-distance driving). Related to this, you should know that certain types of systems brake more effectively and smoothly compared to others.Blind-Spot Monitoring
This system can scrutinize the rear corners of the vehicle and light up your side mirrors when it senses a vehicle in these zones. This is one of the most popular safety features and is present in 73 percent of vehicle models in 2017 as per market figures. Automakers have various names for this feature such as Detection at Hyundai, Side Assist at Audi, and Blind Zone Alert at Chevrolet.Do You Need It?
Yes, you do. It is a vital accident safety feature. However, you need to frequently use your turn signals to extract the best benefits from this mechanism. Certain systems will initiate a warning light or vibration when an automobile enters your blind spot, but this can only happen when your turn signal is on.Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist
If your attentiveness diverts and the vehicle starts to stray out of the lane, a lane departure mechanism will alert you with a vibration, visual clue, or beep on the instrument panel of your car. If the vehicle also has the lane-keeping assist feature, it will go a step further and make imperceptible braking or steering rectifications to ensure that the car stays in its lane.
This feature's brand names include Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist at Toyota, Active Lane Keeping Assist at Mercedes-Benz, and LaneSense at Chrysler. NHTSA advocates the lane departure warning feature but has not recommended the lane-keeping assist mechanism for now.Do You Need It?
Yes. To derive the best value from this safety feature, ensure that you install both lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist features together. If the car’s camera is unable to detect the painted lanes, or if you steer away to make way for a cyclist or a stray dog, it will activate a warning signal. Some individuals may find the beeping irritating and decide to turn the warning system on mute. In such case, the lane-keeping assist feature will still work, and its silent, subtle hints may become more perceptible.Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
This system is most effective when reversing out of a space in a parking lot. The sensors located on the rear bumpers sense an approaching vehicle and alert you to its presence. The common brand names for this feature are Rear Traffic Alert at Volkswagen, Rear Cross Path Detection at Fiat, and Moving Object Detection at Infiniti.Do You Need It?
The feature is certainly useful, but you can’t expect it to alert you to everything. The name correctly highlights that the sensors will identify objects moving on across the sides of the vehicle. You will not get an alert if a person or car is directly behind your vehicle since you should already see them via your rearview camera or mirror that you are already using when backing up.
Many of these safety features are useful to have in your vehicle. You should have a list of your preferred safety features ready before finalizing the purchase of a new vehicle.Sacramento Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. If you've been injured in a car accident, call me today for free, friendly advice at 916.921.6400 or (800) 404-5400.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 6.29.21]
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