Over the last 150 years since the first car first hit the road, countless cars have entered the market. With this increase in cars, there are more car crashes and more need for safety features. Today, organizations like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) evaluate vehicle safety and release an annual list of the top performers. More and more safety features are becoming standard but if you are looking for a new car, here is a list of key safety features you should look for:
Lane departure warning
In an attempt to keep you in your lane, lane departure will alert you either with a sound or by vibrating your steering wheel or seat when you begin to cross white lines or unintentionally leave your lane. This can help prevent rollover accidents or sideswiping incidents. This feature is becoming more and more common in cars made after 2011.
Blind spot detection
Rather than constantly looking over your shoulder or checking your mirrors to check your blind spots, blind spot detection monitors your blind spots for you. It will alert you if there is something in your blind spot or a vehicle approaching from behind that you may have missed. You are typically alerted by flashing orange or yellow lights on your side mirrors.
Rear-view cameras are on their way to becoming standard and for good reason. A rear-view camera offers a driver a wide-angle view of what is behind the vehicle. This can prevent back-up collisions with other vehicles but also protects pedestrians, animals, and children.
Tire pressure monitoring system
Tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) became standard in 2006. Under-inflated tires can be dangerous and without manually checking your tire pressure, you may never know when they get low. TPMS issue a low-tire pressure warning when your tires are under-inflated so you can fill them. If you are currently driving a car with a TPMS, make sure you still check your tire pressure monthly with a manual gauge.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly half of all car accidents occur at night. Adaptive headlights, which automatically switch from low to high beams, improve nighttime visibility. Proper headlights also reduce glare and help make you more noticeable to other drivers, which can also improve your safety on the road.
Thankfully, today’s technology for cars has increased safety on most makes and models. If like SafeAuto, safety is a priority for you in choosing a new vehicle, check for what safety features are present and pull crash safety ratings.