Whether you are looking at a new car for yourself or your kids, safety should always be top of mind. So here are the top safety features to look for on your car search.
Adaptive Cruise Control
We all know how great cruise control is, but adaptive cruise control adds another layer of convenience. Not only does this system allow the driver to set the speed, but it will also follow the speed of any vehicles in front. If a vehicle slows down ahead of you, your car will slow down with it to avoid a collision. As the first vehicle begins to speed up, your car will as well until it hits the driver’s desired speed.
Automatic Emergency Braking
As the name suggests, this system will brake by itself if it detects a potential collision. In addition, these systems will look for other vehicles, and some can even detect pedestrians and cyclists. This is an extra safety net if the driver happens not to be alert at the wheel.
Adaptive headlights respond to changing conditions on the road. This system includes several features to increase visibility for the driver. One is called curve-adaptive headlights, which will pivot depending on the direction of travel and even speed. They also provide automatic high beams, which will switch between low beams and high beams in the presence of traffic. The headlight even uses complex LED arrays to minimize the traditionally dazzling effect on other drivers.
Forward Collision Warning
Forward collision warnings include audible and visual warnings of potential frontal collisions. For example, if you are coming up too fast on a parked vehicle, the car will beep and display a warning to brake. This gives the driver a longer reaction time to avoid a collision.
Lane Keeping System/Lane Departure Warning
Lane keeping systems assist you by keeping you in your lane. If you start to drift over the lane line, this will gently steer you back into your lane. First, you will see a flash of light or feel a vibration in the wheel when it detects you are leaving the lane without a blinker. Next, if you don’t respond to that, your car will steer the wheel to keep you in the lane until you slightly pull the wheel. Lane departure warnings won’t steer you back into your lane, but they will alert you that you are beginning to leave your lane. Both are meant to keep you safe and increase your road awareness.
Facial Recognition Software
Some cars even employ facial recognition software for a variety of reasons like safety and control. In 2019, there was around $6 billion lost to motor vehicle theft in the US alone. (LINK to https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-auto-theft as a no-follow) Facial recognition software can stop the car from starting when there is a driver with an unauthorized face. This feature can help to reduce thefts and keep you feeling safe. There are also special abilities like allowing young first-time-driving teens to only drive up to a certain speed or event deny them access without an adult accompanying them. As this technology becomes more developed, there is hope to develop solutions for big problems like children left alone in hot cars.
All of these have the ability to protect you from a collision, but what about when they fail? What happens then? Make sure you have a plan. Check out our Collision Guide to find everything you need to do after an accident.