New Technologies Make You Feel Like the World’s Best Driver
Among other new technological developments in accident prevention, Forward Collision Avoidance Systems and Adaptive Headlights are working hand in hand to increase safety and avoid hazards in new models of cars. While accident prevention technologies got their start in luxury vehicles, more and more non-luxury cars are implementing these systems. Forward Collision Avoidance Systems and Adaptive Headlights are two of the most successful safety developments, but others have been found to be effective as well. Get to know your options before purchasing your next car, whether it be a luxury vehicle or a mainstream sedan.
On the Market Now!
While all of these nifty new features are becoming increasingly common in newer cars, the “*” denotes features most often found on today’s market.
Forward Collision Avoidance*
-Some of these systems include autonomous braking - allowing the vehicle to stop for you, should you neglect to do so. However, all of these systems alert you if your vehicle is approaching traffic too fast to stop in time. Another way these systems vary is that some only work at speeds over 20 mph (Volvo’s system without auto brake, for example) and some at 3 mph (Volvo’s system with auto brake).
-Should you be driving around a dark, unpredictable curve at night, these headlights adjust their horizontal aim to light up the path ahead. Among other varying factors, they do so based on the speed of the vehicle, and the direction of the steering wheel.
Lane Departure Warning*
-Alerts you if the lane change you are trying to make is unsafe. Forget to check your blind spot? We’ve all done it. Side-swiping or suddenly jerking yourself away from hitting someone in the next lane becomes a thing of the past when this system alerts you first!
Lane Departure Prevention
-Takes things to the next level by not only warning you that your lane change may be unsafe, but gently guiding the vehicle back into its proper lane. A more motherly approach to the Lane Departure Warning System.
Cross Traffic Alert
-Alerts you if cars are about to enter your path from the side. This is most useful when you pull up to stop signs where you can’t see around a parallel parked car or a bush but “CROSS TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP.”
-Tracks your steering and general driving behaviors to alert you if you are overly inattentive or might be falling asleep at the wheel.
Night Vision Assist
-Uses infrared imaging to detect things in the dark, and then projects them on a display before they become visible through the windshield.
-Maneuvers you into those trickier spots, but you still control the throttle.
Curve Speed Warning
-By using GPS, this feature can detect if you are about to take a curve too quickly.
Still to Come…
Some new developments are still in the works, but will hit the market soon. Keep your eyes peeled for these helpful driving allies in the near future!
Side Impact Detection
-Allows the car to cradle you with bigger and safer airbags before you are hit, rather than in reaction to a collision. These airbags can take longer to inflate and this feature allows your car to protect you with “the big guns” before the impact even takes place.
Rear Collision Detection
-Also allows the car to prepare for an accident before it takes place by adjusting seat restraints and your head position.
Pedestrian/Animal/Bicyclist Detection Systems
-The same idea as Cross Traffic Detection or Forward Collision Avoidance, these systems detect if a pedestrian, animal, or bicyclist is about to enter your path. This alerts you early on, keeping you from hitting the people who “come out of nowhere” at intersections or the over-confident deer that takes it upon themselves at the last second to scamper across the country highway you’re traveling on.
Can’t afford a luxury vehicle? No problem! Some safety features are on the move from the lap of luxury to the mainstream.
Blind Spot Detection, Park Assist and Backup Cameras
-The 2012 Toyota Camry comes equipped with Blind Spot Detection. So does the current Ford Taurus, which also comes with Forward Collision Warning. Chevrolet, Dodge, and Chrysler are following suit and implementing more and more advanced technologies in their newer models as well.
What have we learned from all of this?
Equip yourself with the tools to prevent accidents. We all make mistakes, but why not strive to make less? Invest in a car with these features, and save lives.
The Highway Loss Data Institute researches insurance claims to find which of these technological advancements are most effectively helping people avoid accidents. Read more on the above information in this blog post, as well as what the HLDI is finding in their research here.