The car you are presently driving may be years old, and the safety features could be confined to seatbelts, anti-lock brakes and airbags. When you begin your search for a new--or at least more current--vehicle, you may be surprised at the many innovative safety features that are available.
The rearview camera
You have probably seen the rearview cameras advertised, and you might want to make sure your new car has one. The camera will give you a clear, 180-degree view of what is going on behind you, the main purpose being to keep children and animals from being struck by vehicles that are backing up.
Detecting blind spots
The new blind spot detection feature gives you a view of what you cannot see on your own. It uses little yellow or orange lights in your door mirrors to warn you of vehicles coming up from behind.
Short for Adaptive Cruise Control, this is a system that can be found on most new cars. The ACC system uses sensors and radar to keep your car a safe distance from the one in front of you. It automatically applies brakes or throttle to maintain the appropriate distance. If it senses an impending collision, it will automatically tighten seatbelts and apply the brakes heavily.
The Automatic Emergency Braking feature goes into action in the event of a possible collision. If you do not apply the brakes fast enough, the system will brake for you. The Institute for Highway Safety reports that rear-end collisions have decreased by 50 percent for vehicles equipped with AEB.
The facial recognition feature is just beginning to appear on moderately priced cars. The system monitors the alertness level of the driver and sounds an alarm if he or she is not paying attention. It is just one more state-of-the-art innovation that will help to keep you and your passengers safe. Look for this safety improvement and more when you are ready to purchase your next car.