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Car Safety Features to Consider
When buying a car, safety is a top concern for most buyers. Every year, car brands come out with new car safety features that increase driver alertness on the road and help prevent accidents.
While some features, such as lane departure warnings, have been around for a while, others have recently appeared only in newer car models. Buyers who prioritize safety typically gravitate toward sport utility vehicles (SUV), as they are known as big safe cars. However, several sedan models come with great auto safety equipment as well.
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Some car models have more safety features than others, as they are built with a specific audience in mind. However, the majority of cars on the market today come with many of the features below. In addition to offering added protection as you drive, a car with the best safety features makes you eligible for insurance discounts. For more information on must-have features, review the sections below.
Are cars or SUVs safer?
There has been a longstanding debate between sedans and sports utility vehicles (SUV) when it comes to which is safer. SUVs are much bigger and have higher insurance car safety ratings than sedans. In fact, research has shown that sedan drivers were almost eight times more likely to die in an accident than SUV drivers.
Due to their small size and lighter weight, sedans typically receive the brunt of an impact against a heavier SUV. However, with the latest advancements in technology, many sedans come with safety upgrades comparable to SUV safety features that help compensate for their small size.
You should also consider a car’s brand origin if you are researching the safest crossovers or standard SUVs. For instance, with a European car, safety and luxury are two of the main features you can expect. These vehicles come in a range of models that offer comfort, style and safety in both sedans and SUVs. With this in mind, however, be sure to conduct research on the car brand as well, since certain brands consistently get higher safety ratings.
Best Car Safety Features
There are certain auto safety features that used to be considered upgrades or luxury features but now come standard in most models. However, there are others that are just starting to be rolled out in new model years and are sure to make a big impact in future car safety. Check out the top car safety features below.
Lane Departure Warning
The lane departure warning notifies drivers when they begin to steer off into another lane. In some cars, the warning typically comes in the form of a buzz or ring, while other cars vibrate the steering wheel or seat cushion. Lane departure has been a safety feature in cars for nearly 30 years, but this auto safety technology underwent a major upgrade in 2004.
It is now able to assist drivers by steering them back into their lanes without manual intervention. As such, car brands started introducing terms such as “lane keeping assist,” or “lane assistance.”
As one of the best car safety measures, the lane departure feature helps drivers stay alert while driving. It can be especially helpful when driving in bad weather, when road markings are harder to see. Furthermore, lane assist has an on-and-off option, making it easy for drivers to choose when they want to receive help.
Blind Spot Detection
As one of the newer car safety features, blind spot detection alerts drivers when there is another car in adjacent lanes. Side-view mirrors have limited range and often provide a false sense of security when driving. As a result, drivers may steer into a lane and see a vehicle in their blind spot. This is where the detection feature comes in.
Many cars now come with cameras on the side-view mirrors that alert them when cars are in their blind spot. This allows drivers to avoid the potentially dangerous habit of looking over their shoulders before driving into a lane. The blind spot detection is one of the more recent safety features for modern cars since it started making a widespread appearance in 2007.
Rear View Cameras
One of the best new car safety features on the market is the rear view camera. When putting their cars in reverse, drivers can have a near 180-degree view of obstacles behind their vehicles. This can dramatically improve safety for drivers who need parking assistance, especially when parallel parking.
It also protects small children and animals who may be behind the car, since they are hard to see even if the driver turns around completely. Some cars have even improved this new vehicle safety technology by turning on the rear-view camera whenever drivers switch lanes.
Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)
AEB is a new safety technology in cars that causes a vehicle’s brakes to automatically engage when it detects an object in front of the vehicle.
This technology not only helps prevent car accidents but also lessens the impact in the event of a collision. In fact, an IIHS car safety report concluded that vehicles with the AEB technology had much lower rates of minor accidents compared to vehicles without that technology.
Part of the reason why the AEB feature is so effective is because it is one of the few active safety features in cars. Most cars simply have indicators and warnings to alert drivers. However, the AEB acts quickly before the driver may even realize what is going on. As of 2018, this technology is only available in 30 percent of new vehicles on the market. However, it will soon become a vehicle safety standard within a few years.
This technology is one of the best new car safety features. It started gaining traction in 2014 and it is slowly becoming a must-have on buyers’ car safety check. The pedestrian detection feature alerts drivers to pedestrians near the car through the use of a radar.
There are several stages to it. In some cars, it begins with an auditory warning followed by a visual warning. If the driver does not react quickly enough, it will automatically slow or stop the vehicle.
Several car brands have implemented this technology in recent car models, and the impact looks promising. The goal is to reduce pedestrian-related car accidents and increase driver awareness. This is especially important at night or during bad weather conditions.