Car safety features have saved countless lives over the years. They are a must-have in any new vehicle you choose.
A blind spot monitoring system keeps watch over the areas that your mirrors can’t cover, and it gives you a series of beeps or visual cues to let you know when another vehicle is too close for comfort. Some systems can even proactively steer you away from a collision.
1. Blind Spot Warning
Many accidents happen when drivers fail to check their blind spots before changing lanes or merging onto the highway. This is where the blind spot warning system comes in. It uses sensors to monitor the area around your car and warns you of other vehicles that are in your blind spots.
These systems usually display a visual alert in your side view mirrors and some of them also beep if you turn on your turn signal while there’s another vehicle in your blind spot. Some advanced systems can even steer your car away from a potential collision when you’re changing lanes.
These systems are very effective and have helped reduce lane-change crashes. They’re also a big help for drivers with smaller bodies who have difficulty seeing other cars in their blind spots.
2. Lane Departure Warning
Ever veered over the line of a highway lane and heard that familiar beep from your car’s safety system? Lane departure warning uses a camera to scan the road and detect lane markings. If your car approaches or crosses the lane marker line without having your turn signal active, it will alert you. Some systems are paired with lane keeping assist, which will use automatic braking or steering to keep your vehicle centered in its travel lane.
A few versions of this technology go even further by vibrating the seat or steering wheel to simulate driving on rumble strips when it detects lane departure. This can help prevent distracted driving on long trips. Some lane departure systems also work with adaptive cruise control to reduce a driver’s risk of accidentally hitting the car in front of them.
3. Rear View Camera
Many new cars also offer back view cameras that give you a bird’s eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings. Often, these systems also feature onscreen guidelines to help you back up and avoid hitting things behind your car.
Lane-departure warning is a driver-assistance system that uses sensors to watch for lane markings and alert you if you’re starting to leave your lane without your turn signal activated. Some systems even have the ability to correct steering to prevent a crash.
Another useful safety feature is pedestrian detection, which uses cameras or radar to watch for pedestrians and can even automatically brake your vehicle if a collision is detected. This feature could eliminate a number of fender benders caused by careless drivers who fail to check their mirrors or look over their shoulders.
4. Automatic Emergency Braking
Many systems rely on cameras or radar to scan the road and alert you if a crash is imminent. Some systems also apply the brakes for you, which can reduce or even avoid collisions if you don’t react in time. Some are capable of operating at highway speeds and may even detect pedestrians.
These safety features are particularly useful in high-speed situations when it is difficult for you to react quickly enough to safely break in time. Other helpful technologies include lane keep assist, which uses a camera to monitor lane markings and warns you with visual and audible signals if you are crossing the lines.
Traction control works similarly, pulsing the power to individual wheels to prevent them from spinning when you accelerate, which can be dangerous on wet or slippery roads. Both of these systems are now available in most vehicles and are important components of a car’s safety rating.
5. Traction Control
Working behind the scenes, traction control helps your wheels gain traction on slippery surfaces. This feature uses sensors to detect wheel speed, steering angle and sideways movement. It can then brake one or more wheels and reduce engine power to prevent skidding.
This car safety feature detects when your tyres start to spin, which is a common cause of loss of control on roads. It will cut the throttle to stop your wheels spinning unnecessarily, and it can even help you get unstuck in deep snow or mud.
This is a handy safety feature to have when you’re on long road trips, particularly in bumper-to-bumper traffic. It will monitor the distance between your vehicle and the cars in front of you to make sure it doesn’t veer into their lane.