Keeping It Up With Car Safety Features

CARPHOTO-24It’s a statistic that many of us probably don’t take into consideration when we climb behind the wheel, but also in 2011, traffic accidents contributed to more than more than 2 million injuries. Safety on your way starts with you, and while safe driving habits are more important than any high-tech features that an automaker can provide, there are a few car safety features that you might want to look for in your next vehicle.

Blind Spot Monitoring

Trying to change lanes while another motorist is in your blind spot can be a frightening situation. Luckily, some automakers are making their cars provided with blind spot monitoring systems. These systems usually have an easy on the side mirrors that can illuminate whenever a vehicle is at your blind spot. If you try to modify lanes when another vehicle is in your blind spot, many will also sound an alert. New and recently redesigned cars like the Ford Fusion, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Cadenza and Mazda3 can be found with a blind spot monitoring system.

A Rearview Camera

You might be astonished at the number of accidents that happen every time a car is in reverse, despite the fact that backing from your driveway may well not seem like a risky maneuver. KidsAndCars.org, a nonprofit child safety advocacy group, reports more than 1,100 children died in back-over accidents between 1991 and 2012. There is no law requiring them, even though the authorities recommends rearview cameras now. However, new vehicles just like the Chrysler Town & Country, GMC Terrain, Honda Accord and Subaru Forester all come standard with a rearview camera.

Air Bags

Front air bags have been required in new cars for quite a while now, and many newer cars typically feature side-impact air bags, as well. Still, some cars offer a more comprehensive group of air bags to help keep you safe in the collision, and even, they’re mainstream models. Cars like the Chevrolet Cruze and Toyota Camry come standard with 10 air bags. Automakers like Ford are also offering a new twist on air bag technology, as SUVs like the Explorer and Flex are available with inflatable seat belts, that can assist reduce injuries for back-seat passengers.

Electronic Stability Control

The federal government requires all 2012 and newer cars into the future with electronic stability control (ESC), and it can provide a little extra assurance in dangerous driving situations. ESC analyzes your car’s steering and traction, as well as the probability of a rollover. If the system senses danger, it can apply the car’s brakes to one or more wheels to steer it back on track, or limit throttle reaction to reduce the danger of a skid. Shopping for a car that was built before 2012? Roughly 85 percent of cars built-in 2010 were available with ESC, according to Cars.com, so when you do some hunting, you must be able to find a used car that has this feature.

Forward Collision Warning

Think of forward collision warning systems as a second set of eyes, which are looking ahead to make sure that you’re not approaching an object too quickly. If there’s a risk of a collision, these systems use radar, lasers or cameras to scan the road and warn the driver. More technical forward collision warning systems can use the car’s brakes to slow it down if a crash is unavoidable. Research shows that choosing this system could help reduce your chances of a collision. Vehicles like the Buick Encore, Ford Taurus, Toyota Prius and Volvo S60 are common available with forward collision warning systems.

Although technology is no replacement for good driving habits, choosing the right safety features can be an alternate way to help keep you, your passengers and other motorists safe.

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