Over the last decade, many safety features have been added to automobiles, from standard features on commuter cars to top-of-the-line luxury brands. Jeffrey Nadrich, a in Fresno, California, discusses some of the auto safety features that automakers have integrated into vehicle design. These features have saved many lives and prevented many accidents.
Today’s cars have changed dramatically in the past century. Back then, cars lacked power steering, air conditioning, CD players and other features we take for granted today. They were also without the safety features we have come to rely on in our daily travels.
Just a few decades ago, a safe car included airbags and a three-point seatbelt. Today’s cars have much higher standards. In fact, most car buyers have come to expect only the highest quality safety features in their new vehicles – and rightfully so. Studies show that improved safety features decrease the severity of injuries caused in car accidents. In many cases, they are the difference between life and death.
A car crash can easily lead to fatality. That’s why many car buyers are looking for the latest features that will prevent accidents before they even happen. There are many new safety features that can help.
This feature is found in many new vehicles. The backup camera gives you a view of what is behind you so you can see if it is safe to reverse. It also beeps if you get too close to a vehicle or other object so you can stop before causing a crash.
This feature helps prevent rear-end accidents, particularly in traffic, by automatically braking to keep a safe distance between vehicles. This is accomplished using radar and sensors. To avoid crashes, it brakes hard and tightens the seatbelts.
We were taught to use our mirrors and look behind us before changing lanes, but sometimes vehicles such as motorcycles still get stuck in the blind spots. Blind spot detection does the hard work for you and alerts you with lights if there are vehicles in your blind spots. It can be found on more upscale vehicles.
These cool headlights change position as you steer, allowing you to better see around corners. They are also effective at lighting up the road in front of you. As of 2014, these lights were standard on only 14 percent of vehicles. If you live in a rural area, these headlights will come in handy, especially if you live in areas populated with deer and other nocturnal animals.
If you do a lot of city driving and parallel parking isn’t your forte, park assist can help. You just pull up next to a spot, shift the vehicle into reverse and the car does the rest. This feature has actually been around on Lexus models for more than a decade now. While this feature is more convenient than safe, it can definitely help prevent accidents during the parking process.
This feature keeps you in your lane, which is nice to have if you become distracted or fall asleep while driving. It will buzz your seats or send off an audible signal to let you know that you need to get back in your lane.
This feature has not become mainstream just yet, but can be found on select vehicles. It is good for drivers who are constantly distracted, as it alerts the driver when they are not paying attention.
Tesla vehicles also come with innovative safety features. Tesla has an Autopilot feature for Tesla Model S and X. This feature allows the vehicle to automatically steer, change lanes and brake in an emergency situation. However, for it to work, there needs to be a driver at all times, so it is not fully autonomous. In fact, the driver has to keep their hands on the wheel. Meant to assist with highway driving, Tesla Autopilot uses cameras, GPS and radar to allow the driver to relax to some degree.
While the Autopilot feature seems like a nice benefit for drivers, it has raised some controversy. The feature was turned on when two fatal crashes occurred.
In March 2018, a man crashed into a concrete barrier while driving in Redwood City. The Tesla caught fire after the crash.
Data showed that the man did not have his hands on the wheel for 6 seconds before the fatal accident. He had been given multiple warnings to put his hands on the wheel, but he ignored them.
The Tesla handles freeway driving with ease and this makes drivers think that the vehicle can drive itself. It can’t. It is meant to be used as an assistant and not take over driving entirely.
As drivers become more comfortable with automated safety features, they are likely to become more open to the idea of a driverless car. Fully-autonomous vehicles continue to be developed by many of the world's largest automakers. The continued advancement of vehicle safety features is the start of a transition to driverless vehicles.