Written by Social Monsters
When you hop into the driver’s seat and prepare to start up the engine, chances are you buckle up before departure. You adjust your mirrors to make sure you can see what’s behind you and generally make sure everything is safe. While these precautions can save lives on the roadway, there are a host of other safety features worth considering if you’re in the market for a new-to-you car.
You’re cruising down the highway, and the cars in front of you come to a screeching halt. The forward sensors in your vehicle sound off immediately, but you’re unable to pump the brakes. That’s when an automatic braking system helps you avoid a collision. This system works by using lasers, radar or video data to determine whether there is an object present in front of the vehicle and how fast that object moves relative to the speed you’re driving. If you are going to hit the object, then the system automatically activates the brakes to try to avoid the accident.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
In the event you’re forced to over or under steer due to extreme road conditions, ESC attempts to stabilize the vehicle. It works by applying the brakes to just one wheel to keep the vehicle steady and avoid collisions with curbs, soft shoulders and guard rails. However, if you’re traveling at a high rate of speed or limited traction is available, the likelihood of being involved in a collision is much greater.
Air bags have become a must-have in new vehicles because they prevent you from colliding with your steering wheel and dashboard or from being ejected through the glass. But, it’s imperative you buckle up so as not to be injured by the air bag.
Thanks to forward-looking, backup and side-view sensors, your vehicle now can alert you when you are in close proximity to an object or structure in your blind spot.
Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
Have you ever slammed on the brakes, only to have your wheels lock up? With ABS, you can avoid this problem and maintain greater control of the vehicle. But, it is less effective if you’re traveling at a high rate of speed or steering with extreme movements.
If you’re tired of stretching your neck to reverse your vehicle, you can use a backup camera and sensors to inform you of your surroundings. This also cuts down on accidents with any blind spots behind you.
This futuristic feature guides you in the right direction when attempting to parallel park and even takes the wheel to finish up the job. This means you are less likely to scrape the cars next to you when parking.
Crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reveal that smaller cars don’t fare as well in collisions. Because sedans and compact cars are smaller and lighter, they usually do not do as well against larger and heavier cars in an accident. So, buying a larger vehicle might be one of the greatest safety factors.
Dealers like DriveTime provide detailed reports on car safety features and tests, so be sure to thoroughly analyze the contents and request clarification on any unfamiliar items.
Some of the vehicles that made the IIHS’s Top Safety picks for 2015 include:
- 2015 Mazda 3
- 2015 Toyota Prius
- 2015 Chrysler 200
- 2015 Nissan Altima
- 2015 Toyota Camry
- 2015 Mitsubishi Outlander
- 2015 Toyota Highlander
These vehicles are judged based on how well they protect occupants in a crash.