It is 2016. According to Back to the Future and The Jetsons, cars should be flying, time traveling, and pretty much driving themselves. While we may not have come as far as we thought we would have by 2016, today’s cars have numerous features that are lifesaving. Of course, most cars are now equipped with some standard safety features like anti-lock brakes, air bags and seatbelts. But, more and more new cars are equipped with state of the art tech features that are saving lives and helping to prevent crashes. Unfortunately, buyers often must pay a premium for these features. The hope is that in the near future, the below features will become more common on standard model cars.
Backup cameras have been quickly adopted and are an incredibly helpful feature in car safety. By giving the driver a clear view of the intended path, small animals, children and other unseen dangers are revealed. As a bonus, parking is a lot easier.
Forward Collision Warning Systems & Automatic Braking
The first time I drove a vehicle with forward collision prevention, I was caught off guard. A vehicle came to an abrupt stop in front of me, and before my foot could even touch the brake, it had been suppressed for me and my vehicle had come to a halt. Some vehicle systems do not apply the brakes, but instead give an audible warning or a vibration of the steering wheel as warning. This feature is great for teenage drivers who are just getting used to the rules of the road and are easily distracted. Auto Trader has a list of 6 affordable vehicles that have this amazing safety feature.
These systems use specialized sensors to monitor the road ahead and detect lane departure. Once the lane departure is detected, the driver is alerted and some vehicles even steer the car back into the proper lane. Read more about lane departure systems and vehicles with this feature here.
Blind Spot Warning
Sometimes blind spots are unavoidable. Even with properly adjusted mirrors, there are certain spots that aren’t clear. Blind spot warning lights on the side mirrors illuminate when a vehicle occupies either blind spot, which helps with safe lane movement.
The Future for Standard Automatic Safety Features Holds Promise
While we still haven’t perfected self-driving cars (a topic for another day), the idea of having a self-driving car has brought many of the high tech safety features to cars today. According to Jim Salek, vice president of property and casualty loss prevention for USAA, many of the groundbreaking advances in the area of safety have come from the efforts of creating self-driving vehicles.
If you are in the market for a new car and want these safety features, be sure to do your research. Know which safety features are important to you and spend time test driving different models. A list of car dealers recognized by the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles can be found here.
Keep in mind that there is still no substitute for good driving! Even with these safety features, it is critically important that drivers are alert and paying attention to roadway hazards. If you are involved in an auto accident in New Mexico, know what to do and call us today.