According to the IIHS, 32,719 motor vehicle crash deaths occurred in 2013. Thankfully, carmakers are consistently developing new car safety features that prevent accidents, reduce motor fatalities, and give us peace of mind. From practical car safety features like pre-collision braking, to science fiction-esque features like adaptive cruise control, 2015 has a lot to offer in automotive safety technology. Here are 5 of our favorite car safety features available today.
Blind Spot Monitoring
According to the NHTSA, around 840,000 accidents and 300 fatalities occur each year as a result of “blind spots.” Blind spot monitors will dramatically reduce these numbers. This car safety feature is by no means an excuse to not check your blind spot, but it is a wonderful reminder that will protect you on the road.
Most blind spot monitors detect vehicles near or in your blind spot when you engage your turn signal. The vehicle will then give an audible and/or visual warning if a vehicle is detected. Some safety systems, like Honda Sensing, even have passenger blind spot cameras, giving you a visual view of the lane using a camera on the passenger side mirror.
Popular vehicles with optional blind-spot monitoring:
One of the most practical car safety features on this list is pre-collision braking. Imagine having a car that simply stops before you hit something. Vehicles today are doing just that thanks to cameras or sensors installed in the front of the vehicle that constantly monitor the road ahead.
Some vehicles with pre-collision braking apply brake to help give the driver time to react or lessen the impact, while other vehicles are capable of coming to a complete stop at certain speeds. Even if your foot is on the gas, cars equipped with pre-collision braking will disengage the throttle and engage the brake.
Popular vehicles with optional pre-collision braking:
Subaru Eyesight Pre-Collision Braking:
Adaptive Cruise Control
Unlike standard cruise control, adaptive cruise control will help you watch the road for other vehicles. This car safety feature is a great relief for those who drive frequently in stop and go traffic. Should you approach a vehicle going slower than your adaptive cruise control set speed, the car will automatically reduce its speed and maintain a preset following distance. If the lead vehicle leaves your lane, the car with adaptive cruise control will return the original set speed. Some systems are even able to come to a complete stop, as needed. Other adaptive cruise control systems allow you to pick from preset following distances. This car safety feature truly foreshadows self-driving cars.
Popular vehicles with optional adaptive cruise control:
Lane Departure Warning
We all do our best to avoid momentary distractions while driving, but even the attention of the best drivers will occasionally slip. This car safety feature will either alert you as you leave your lane without a turn signal, or it may even adjust your vehicle direction to keep it within your current lane.
Popular vehicles with optional lane departure warning:
Honda’s lane departure warning system:
The days of flicking the lights from bright to dim could soon be over. Adaptive headlights are a car safety feature that adjusts to the road ahead, and automatically dims partially or fully to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.
On a curve, adaptive headlights can curve to light the road ahead, rather than pointing straight forward off the side of the road. When an oncoming car approaches, adaptive headlights will only dim the portion of light that is pointed directly at the oncoming car, giving you maximum light while protecting other drivers.
Car safety features are constantly improving, so stay tuned to Tech Tip Tuesday as we cover the latest and greatest technology in the automotive industry.
If you could have one these car safety features in your vehicle, which would you choose? Let us know in the comments below!