If you drive, you might enjoy it very much, or you may not care for it. Some people love cars and working on them, while others see them as nothing more than transportation, and they don’t care about the detailing and craftsmanship that went into them. Many people own them, though, and that’s probably not going to change anytime soon.
When you get in a car, either as a driver or passenger, you risk injury. There are thousands of car wrecks every day, some more serious than others. Human error causes many of them, while mechanical failure causes others.
While you will never be one hundred percent safe when riding in a car or driving one, you should know that there have been significant automotive safety advances over the past few years that are becoming more widespread. Let’s look at five of those right now.
Forward Automatic Emergency Braking
The NHTSA states that in this nation, more than 2,000,000 rear-end collisions occur each year. That might sound inconceivable until you think about it for a few moments. Many things can distract a driver, and then they can easily hit the car ahead of them.
Some possible distractions include:
- Passenger conversations
- Music or a podcast
- Texting or a Bluetooth conversation
Even if you’re a great driver, something might distract you for a moment, and sometimes, that’s all it takes. If you’re not far behind the car in front of you, and it stops suddenly, you can plow into it if your eyes are not on the road ahead.
Many new cars now come with forward automatic emergency braking, or FAEB systems. They sense a collision before it occurs, and the vehicle starts to brake for you. They can often prevent collisions or at least ensure that you are going a lot slower when you strike the car ahead of you.
No law requires them yet, but that could certainly change soon. They have already prevented many serious injuries.
Rear backup cameras debuted several years ago. People like them as well, and they have saved many lives and countless injuries. With a rear backup camera, you can avoid:
- Other cars
As you’re backing out of your driveway, you never know if the neighbor’s dog is going to run past at that moment, with a couple of kids chasing after him. You don’t know if a cyclist is going to peddle past right then. Maybe your child left a toy lying in the driveway, and without that camera, you would not notice it.
Backup cameras also help when you’re out in the world, like when you’re backing out of a space in a busy restaurant or grocery store parking lot. They make driving so much safer that the federal government mandated that all cars must have them, starting with the 2019 model year.
Lane Departure Warning Systems
Lane departure warning systems are another recent vehicle arrival. Companies debuted these systems to warn drivers who are starting to drift out of their lane and into another without signaling a lane switch.
The way they work is that a camera underneath the vehicle monitors the road in real-time. It sees the lane markings on a street or highway surface. When the car begins to drift, the car lets the driver know.
A noise, dashboard light, or vibrating seat or steering wheel tells you that you’re drifting out of your lane. You then adjust the wheel to prevent hitting another car or getting a police citation for an illegal lane change.
The camera picking up the illegal lane change and warning you about it in real-time is remarkable. It’s truly a miraculous modern technology example.
Blind Spot Alert Systems
Vehicle blind-spot alert systems are also becoming more common these days. The car detects when there is a vehicle or other large object in your blind spot. It then makes a noise to indicate that to you, so you don’t try to switch lanes right then.
Some alert systems light up the dashboard, or else the steering wheel or your seat might vibrate. This way, you won’t forget to check your blind spot and change lanes, either hitting another vehicle or causing that other car to swerve, possibly hitting a barrier or something else.
Inexperienced drivers particularly like the blind spot alert system. Teenagers avoid many accidents with them.
More experienced drivers will know to check their blind spot every time, but you never know. Even road veterans might make a mistake from time to time, and these systems can prevent that.
Radar Cruise Control
Cruise control has been around for a long time. If you’re on a long, monotonous highway stretch, and you know what the speed limit is, you can program the car to stay at that speed. However, if traffic conditions in front of you change, you need to take the vehicle off cruise control for traffic navigation.
The radar cruise control version is cruise control, but with a twist. You can set it and then take your foot off the accelerator. Radar picks up vehicles and congestion in front of you.
If there’s a traffic jam or slow traffic ahead, you don’t need to take the vehicle out of cruise control. The car will slow down automatically to adjust to the traffic condition changes.
It can be a little scary not having your foot on the brakes as cars appear ahead of you, but this technology makes it possible.
Aside from all this, there are things like Bluetooth connectivity. With Bluetooth, you can make a smartphone call through voice command. You don’t need to take your hands off the wheel to try and balance a phone or set it to speaker when you call a friend or family member.
Driving is easier and fun with all this tech. Even if you don’t like vehicles too much, you might come to like your driving time more since there are so many accident prevention features now.