Posted on September 26, 2013 in Automobile Accidents
New Safety Systems for Your Next New Car
For the past few years, auto manufacturers have finally figured out that consumers really do care about saftey, and it influences which models they ultimately spend their money on.
The big new push is in crash avoidance systems. Obviously, cars have been made safer over the years to withstand crashes. These new features attempt to prevent the crash from ever happening. Some studies suggest that 1 in 3 fatal crashes might be avoided, or at least lessened by these systems.
Since I was a kid, Volvo was always seen as the leader in safety, and they have introduced a high-tech "City Safety" system that is designed to avoid rear-end low speed collisions through an optical radar system that automatically hits the brakes for you. They also have a Pedestrian Detection system. We’ve all seen the Mercedes commercial where the little girl is saved by such a system when she runs into the street after her soccer ball.
The Ford Explorer has an option for inflatable rear seat belts that inflate on frontal impact to distribute the force on the body more evenly. Ford also offers Adaptive Cruise Control which slows your car if you get too close to the vehicle in front of you. Toyota offers its Star Safety System which includes Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology. These systems detect and help with panic braking, and won’t allow both pedals to be pressed at the same time under certain conditions (Certainly an outgrowth of the rapid acceleration cases of the past).
Other safety features you should always ask about are whether safety glass is available for side and rear windows (obviously it is required for the windshield); rollover canopy airbags (especially for SUVs); whether the car comes with seatbelt pre-tensioners (they tighten the belt in a crash); and whether "side airbags" extend all the way to the back seat.
These features are all great, but a safe driver is always the most important feature in the car. Don’t Drive Distracted! No Phones! No Texts! No Eating! It can wait until you get there. If not, pull over!
There are some great new safety systems coming out on cars these days. But remember, you as the driver are still the most important safety feature.