For decades, traditional safety features like airbags, seat belts, and antilock brakes have been a standard for new vehicles. As times have changed, these standards may not help offer much in terms of safety for today’s needs.
Over time, the government has set new safety standards for new cars to help save lives. On the other hand, vehicle manufacturers have been forced to come up with their own standards to stay competitive. Whether these changes come through government directives or competition, everything that enhances vehicle safety is a welcome move.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
Electronic stability control became a standard to help reduce rollover accidents in 2012. Electronic stability control works by keeping the vehicle on the driver’s intended path when making a turn to avoid a rollover accident resulting from skidding.
The system utilizes sensors connected to a computer that momentarily brakes one or two wheels and cuts engine power to get a vehicle back on track if it skids, thus avoiding a rollover.
Statistics from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) show that blind spots are responsible for over 300,000 accidents in America every year. Blind spots are usually a result of vehicle design but can also result from driver limitations.
Blind-spot monitoring utilizes sonar sensors on the side mirrors or the vehicle’s rear bumper. It helps notify the driver of vehicles in their blind spot, especially when intending to change lanes or take a turn.
Collision Avoidance Systems
Collision avoidance systems are another safety feature you may want to look for in a car. These systems include forward-collision warning systems and automated braking systems. While these features may be independent of one another, they work best when used to complement each other.
Forward-collision warning system utilizes cameras, radar, or both to check the road ahead for obstacles, such as slow or stopped traffic, and alerts the driver of an imminent collision. If the driver takes no action, the system activates the automated braking system, which stops the vehicle in time to avoid a collision.
While automated braking may not be a standard at the moment, 20 automakers have agreed on making automated braking systems a standard for all their new cars in 2022. “This gentleman’s agreement will yield results three years sooner than formal regulation would,” Cited the US Department of transportation while hailing the move by auto manufacturers.
Lane Departure Warnings
Lane departure warnings and lane departure assist are excellent ways of ensuring that drivers stay in their lane to avoid collisions with drivers on other lanes. Lane departure warning utilizes lasers and AI to monitor lane markings. It will issue audio or visual warnings when drivers stray out of their lane without turning on the turn light.
At other times steering wheel or seat vibrations are utilized as warning signs for lane departure. On the other hand, the lane assist feature does mild steering to ensure that the vehicle does not stray out of its lane.
Car accident attorney Larry Buckfire warns that “While safety features may have come a long way, driver participation is of great importance when on the roads. Automated features only work best when complimenting human efforts.”