Must-Have Advanced Safety Features
Modern safety features on vehicles are definitely something to behold; they aim to cover our blind spots, provide emergency braking in moments of inattention, protect children from opening the door prematurely, and even help you stay out of danger while keeping you in your lane! We’ve come a long way in the automotive world when you consider that only 40 years ago seat belts were considered “optional”. What’s more surprising? Airbags weren’t required by law until 1998 – and that was just a frontal airbag for the driver and another one for the passenger!
Here’s a short list of the most innovative safety features you should be looking for when buying your next car, especially as automakers evolve and these features become industry standards.
Forward Collision Warning System
A forward collision warning system monitors your vehicle’s speed and uses radar technology to monitor the speed of the vehicle in front of you and the distance between the two vehicles. If the radar detects that you are approaching the car in front of you too quickly, it’ll warn you with a chime that a collision is imminent, attempting to give you ample time to pump the brakes in hopes of avoiding or lessening the impact. If you are unable to brake in a timely manner there are some more advanced forward collision warning systems that also come equipped with automatic emergency braking (AEB) – the brakes will be automatically applied to prevent a crash. Additionally, some forward collision warning systems are so advanced that they’re capable of detecting pedestrians and bicycles as well.
Lane Departure Warning System & Lane Keep Assist
We’ve lumped these two together since they both have the same goal in mind: should you find yourself accidentally distracted behind the wheel, these two systems are here to help you stay in your lane. If your turn signal is not in use and you happen to drift, the lane departure warning system will give you an audio and visual cue so that you steer back into your lane to avoid running off the road or crossing over into an occupied lane. The lane departure warning system relies on front-facing cameras that map the road ahead using the lines of the road as guides. Some systems are so advanced that they have the ability to make your seat or steering wheel vibrate to get your attention. Lane departure warning systems can sometimes be equipped with lane keep assist that automatically steers the car back into its lane without your input. Don’t worry, if you’re driving on an old road where the lines are too light for the cameras to detect, you can easily turn this feature off so it doesn’t become a nuisance on your drive.
Blind Spot Warning System
A blind spot warning system also relies on cameras and radar to detect if there are any objects or vehicles in your blind spots to help prevent collisions. This warning system gives the driver yet another visual and audio warning, alerting them that it is not safe to switch lanes. Sometimes, warning lights may be built into the side view mirrors and the dashboard, depending on the manufacturer. Blind spot warning systems are incredibly helpful when it comes to other vehicles that are approaching your blind spots at excessive speeds, helping you avoid yet another accident.
Rearview Camera & Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Implemented as a required feature in all new vehicles as of this year (2018), rear view cameras are used to reduce backover accidents, which result in 15,000 injuries and about 210 fatalities per year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Usually equipped with a wide angle lens, these cameras provide a large and clear image of what’s behind the car, helping you back out safely. More advanced rear view cameras also include what’s called rear cross traffic alerts that’ll chime to alert you if there are any approaching vehicles to the left or right of you traveling at speeds between 5 and 18 mph. Also, it certainly helps that this feature makes parallel parking a breeze!
Safety Exit Assist & Rear Occupant Alert
The latest in safety features, safety exit assist works as an extension of the blind spot monitoring system and temporarily stops children (and adults!) from opening the doors prematurely when vehicles, motorcycles, or bicycles are approaching from behind. Additionally, the rear occupant alert feature was designed to reduce child heat hazards as it uses sensors to detect movement in the backseat – the driver will be given auditory and visual warnings as a reminder that there’s a passenger back there. It won’t take a rocket scientist to predict that these two advanced safety features are likely to become the most sought-after by parents.
Which cars have these advanced safety features?
Manufacturers like Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Mazda, Chevrolet, Ford, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram are continuously updating their lineups to include more and more advanced safety features as the standard. Lucky for you, all of these brands are available here at Driver’s Auto Mart, so what are you waiting for? Check out our latest inventory of gently used vehicles that are sure to suit your needs. Additionally, the organization for Consumer Reports has a fantastic search tool that details what safety features are standard, optional, or unavailable depending on the manufacturer and trim.
Have any other questions on advanced safety features? Let’s chat about it on Driver’s Auto Mart social media.