Four New Safety Technologies Your Car Should Have
by SSF | Last Updated Jul. 27th, 2013
Technology is constantly developed that helps keep you and those around you safe when driving a car. Cars have some new and very impressive safety features integrated that could potentially save someone’s life.
Electronic Stability Control
Image via Flickr by Mr Wabu
This feature, offered under different trade names depending on the vehicle you’re looking at, exists to help drivers maintain control of their car when making extreme steering maneuvers. The new technology senses when a vehicle starts to spin out, known as over steer, or plow out, known as under steer. When this happens, it applies the brake automatically to a single wheel.
Electronic stability control brings down the amount of accidents that involve a vehicle veering off the road and striking a curb, guard rail, soft shoulder, or anything else that could start a rollover. Though it won’t keep your car on the road if you’re going too fast for the curve, it could save your life in many circumstances.
All-Wheel Drive and Traction Control
A vehicle with all-wheel drive distributes power to both the front and rear wheels. This, in turn, maximizes traction. Having all-wheel drive will help you keep your car steady on the road, thus keeping you safer. However, all-wheel drive systems generally don’t stop drive wheels from slipping if you’ve applied excess power when accelerating.
That’s where traction control comes in. Traction control systems will help your vehicle’s stability. They control the extent to which drive wheels slip if you’ve applied too much power. A traction control system will adjust the engine power output automatically to help in dangerous situations. Some systems also apply braking force during acceleration.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection
Everyone knows you need auto insurance, like from www.autoinsurance.us, if you do get into an accident. But some new technology out there helps keep you and others on the road safer. A new Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake system, now offered from Volvo, helps prevent accidents involving a car striking a cyclist.
A radar unit in the car’s front grille, coupled with a high-definition camera mounted forward on the review mirror, scans the approaching area continuously. And it doesn’t just alert the driver if a pedestrian steps in the path of the vehicle or if a cyclist darts out, it also applies the brakes if it finds that a collision is unavoidable otherwise.
Perhaps less fancy, but just as helpful in the case of an impending accident, are head restraints. Head restraints are extensions of the seats of your vehicle. They limit the possible movement of your head in case of a rear-impact crash, cutting down on neck injuries.
Head restraints, while required to meet strength and size requirements in the front seats, aren’t necessarily required in the back. And while you’ll have to adjust most manually, head restraints do exist that automatically adjust when the seat’s position changes, or dynamically in an accident. The dynamic restraints give you the most protection.
If you’re looking for a new car, look out for these safety technologies. By making sure your vehicle has them, you might save a life down the line.
Farryl Last has an MA in International Education.