Safety Features Lower Risks, But Will Bad Drivers Notice?
Luxury car makers were the first to introduce expensive crash prevention technologies. Unfortunately these life-saving features were too expensive for most drivers. But now this technology has gone mainstream.
More than half of new vehicle models now come equipped with forward crash prevention systems that alert drivers about an approaching object, such as another vehicle, a guardrail or a curbside. More than a quarter of 2015 models also come with robotic braking systems, which automatically stop a vehicle from hitting an object in its path.
These effective safety features are becoming more accessible to every car owner as they become more widely available and less expensive. The number of vehicles that come with auto braking systems has doubled since 2012.
Front Crash Safety Technology Available
Vehicles hae effective safety features including
- Sensors: monitor the distance and relative speed between your car and the car or another object in front of you.
- Alerts: Audible or visual warning signals alert you that a crash may be imminent if corrective action is not taken. Some systems also issue a physical alert, such as vibrating seat belts or pulsing brakes.
- Braking response: An automated braking system prepares the brakes to maximize their effectiveness. Some systems automatically apply the brakes to mitigate or avoid the accident altogether.
- Crash preparation response: If you fail to brake or steer the car clear of the impending crash, some systems prepare the car to reduce injuries to occupants during impact. For example, the system might tighten the seat belts, close the windows or adjust the head restraints or seats.
Are these Systems Worth the Money?
Automatic braking systems reduce front-end accidents by 14 percent when compared to the same vehicles that don’t offer the safety features. Automobiles that warn the driver about a potential collision, but that don’t automatically stop the car, reduce collisions by seven percent.
Of course, buying a car is already an expensive investment and adding features inflates the price. Packages cost between $300 and $700, a small price when you consider the physical and financial costs of having an automobile accident. And the features may also translate into lower insurance rates.
Protection from the “Third Worst Drivers in the U.S.”
A recent study ranked Texas as having the third worst drivers in the country. The factors used to calculate this dismal ranking included numbers of fatalities, traffic law violations, drunk driving arrests, speeding and careless driving. Had distracted drivers been added to the list, our rankings might have fallen even further.
Since we can’t clear the roads of these reckless drivers, at least you should protect yourself by using the latest in safety technology.