A few short years ago, the idea of electronic safety features in cars meant anti-lock brakes. In addition, they were once a luxury option whereas now, they’ve become a standard feature of all cars. Today, they’re capable of preventing head-on collisions, warning passengers of sudden impact and avoiding a sideswipe. Ongoing new developments in technology have made safety a primary selling point in new vehicles.
The newer and most advanced systems are commonly offered as options or bundled in with safety and technology packages, but car shoppers who are both safety and budget-conscious still have some great options. These are some of the most desired safety features available in cars right now, all with high ratings from the Institute of Insurance Claims.
Adaptive Cruise Control
While laser and radar sensor systems already adjust cruising speed to maintain a safe following distance, some systems can now make a complete stop and return to the set cruise speed. Following distance is now adjustable so you can choose how many yards you want to put between you and the vehicle in front of you.
These updated systems are found in Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Impala, Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Jeek Cherokee, Honda CR-V, Mazda3 and Toyota Camry.
Automatic Warning & Braking
Safety features are using more cameras, lasers and radar to alert drivers of approaching obstacles and even to step in and automatically slam the brakes. According to the Institute’s Review of Insurance Claims, cars with automatic braking systems are in 14% fewer crashes.
This percentage is significant enough to have caused a frenzy in the safety ratings. In order for a vehicle to be rated high, that model must have auto-braking as a safety feature that cuts speed substantially.
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Brake Assist & Other Safety Features
This safety feature doesn’t just significantly slow that vehicle down, but the brakes themselves are like electromechanical pumps and are capable of making a sudden hard stop.
Expect to find this feature in high-end models such as Mercedes’ Pre-Safe. With the brake assist, some systems will tighten seat belts, adjust headrests, prime air bag pumps and even close windows.
Lane Departure Warnings
The latest developments in camera and laser systems are now helping drivers stay in their lane. The radars can sense objects up to 160 meters and can be used when driving in cities and on highways. Since sometimes a beeping sound can startle drivers, many manufacturers are making alerts that set off flashing lights, chimes or vibrations instead.
This safety feature can be found right now in Chrysler, GM, Volvo and Mazda.
Blind Spot Alerts
With the help of backup cameras, some cars can process these images and detect objects in the blind spot or rear cross-traffic approaching as the driver backs out of a parking spot. The sensors trigger flashing lights at the side view mirrors and have audio alerts as well.
The 2016 Toyota Tacoma will have this feature.
Adaptive headlights are actually preventing accidents according to the Insurance Institute. The LED lenses can pivot with the steering wheel, use less energy, are safer for night driving and have a sensor that turns the high beams off when it detects oncoming cars.
Mazda, Mercedes and Volvo have this feature.
Given the high ratings and decreased accident rates these products have proven to produce, these are the most recommended safety features to look into when purchasing a new car.
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