New car features can help save lives

Posted in General, Auto

It’s true, new car safety features can help save lives. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has reported that newer vehicles are dramatically safer than the older models. It’s a no brainer that as time goes on technology evolves — just think how it’s impacted the computer and cell phone industry. Don’t fret if you have a vehicle from the early 2000s; automakers have drastically improved vehicles’ structures to make cars safer in the last 15 years. IIHS data also shows the chances of dying in a crash in a late-model vehicle have fallen by more than a third in just three years.

Here’s a list of some new car features that are installed in all different makes and models designed to make cars safer and help save lives.

  • Adaptive Cruise Control — cruise control has been around for decades but in newer models this feature received a safety makeover which adjusts the throttle and brakes to keep a safe distance between surrounding cars
  • Airbags — technology now has the ability to sense the weight/height of occupants, seatbelt usage, seating option (was your passenger reaching down to get something out of a bag?), rear-facing child seats and vehicle speed, drastically reducing injuries if the bag inflates
  • Back-up Camera — provides a wide-angled shot of everything behind the vehicle; designed specifically to prevent small children and animals from accidental roll-overs
  • Night-vision assist — the goal of night-vision assist is to help you see at a further distance to spot people, trees, curves in the road and animals; it works by brightening the objects that are hard to see
  • Forward-collision warning — this revolutionary system uses camera, lasers or radar to detect vehicles ahead and alert the driver if they are driving too close or fast. An audible alert or vibration of the steering wheel goes off to bring attention to the driver. “Research shows that front crash prevention systems are helping drivers avoid crashes and lessening the impact on the crashes that do happen.” Says Russ Rader, senior vice president at the IIHS. There is an auto-breaking version which takes it one step further and automatically applies the breaks to stop your vehicle to avoid collision.
  • Electronic Stability Control — winters in the Midwest can be dangerous, especially with black ice. This feature checks the direction your vehicle is heading 25 times a second and links it with the steering input. If you were to hit black ice and lose control, the system would apply the brakes to straighten the car out
  • Parking assist — it’s no secret parallel parking can be intimidating. This feature guides the car into place while you keep your hands off the wheel. It first senses the size of the parking space, directs you into the starting position and then the magic happens as the vehicles computer backs the vehicle into place (with your hands off the wheel). Just think of the number of bumpers this is going to save!
  • Lane departure warning systems — designed to help stop head-on collisions and other type of crashes. The systems camera is able to determine the cars position in relation to the lane. You’re immediately alerted if you leave your lane to divert your attention back to the road.
  • Brake assist technology — if you’re in an emergency situation where you have to slam on the breaks (child runs into the road, car swerves in your lane, etc…) this feature increases breaking power in case the driver did not exert enough pressure.

These new features are genius and you might even be asking yourself “why didn’t I think of that?!” We can all agree that the biggest perk of these advances in technology is that they help reduce accidents and save lives. Check with your local independent insurance agent to see if discounts are available if these safety features are in your car.


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