You’re on the highway, about to change lanes—a check of the mirrors, a look over your shoulder. Blinker on, you start to make your move, when a light on the side mirror flashes: Someone in your blind spot! You pull back into your lane, relieved.
Car safety features like blind-spot monitoring have been available, or even standard, on luxury cars for several years. But as the government and manufacturers have recognized their importance, they’ve popped up on lower-priced vehicles as well.
Fortunately, some of these high-tech safety features are becoming requirements on all new cars. According to Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com, today’s automakers are prioritizing features like this that not only protect drivers who get into accidents, but also help avoid accidents altogether.
Not all of these features are standard on all cars yet, but they may be offered as an optional upgrade, and you will likely find them to be solid investments. After all, paying a little more now helps create a safer ride for you, your passengers and others on the road, for years to come.
Automatic Braking Systems
Automatic emergency braking systems stop or drastically slow the car when an oncoming collision is detected—an essential safety feature, according to Reina. “Even for good drivers,” he says, “this will help avoid accidents should a person or car suddenly come into your path through no fault of your own.” Although automatic brakes are not yet mandatory, you’ll be seeing this feature offered as a standard more often in new cars moving forward.
Using either video data or radar, a blind-spot system keeps careful watch over the areas drivers can’t see from their rearview or side mirrors. If it detects a car getting a little too close for comfort, it alerts the driver with a series of beeps or visual cues. In some advanced systems, the cars can even move themselves to a safer distance. Blind-spot monitoring is an especially worthy investment for larger vehicles like SUVs or minivans, or for anyone who does a lot of highway travel. In the coming years, most vehicles are likely to have this as a standard safety feature or as a more affordable option.
Forward-Collision Warning (FCW)
Using cameras, radar, and/or lasers, FCW detects other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclysts, animals and other objects in front of your vehicle. As an FCW-equipped vehicle nears a detected obstacle and anticipates a potential collision, the system issues a visual, audible and/or tactile warning to alert the driver.
Rear Cross-Traffic Warning
This feature adds another layer to the now-standard backup camera. Rear cross-traffic warning systems monitor the area behind the car and will issue alerts if anything is detected while you’re backing up. Basically a more advanced form of the technology used in blind-spot monitoring, it’s also hugely popular: Drivers say this feature has already worked wonders in preventing fender benders.
While the more common Lane-Departure Warning (LDW) systems usually issue a few beeps when they detect the car drifting, lane-keeping assist systems actually take control of the car and gently help you steer back to the center of your lane. These additional features can include Lane-Centering Assist (LCA), Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), and Lane-Tracing Assist (LTA).
Now that you know how new car technology can help keep you safe, make sure your new car is covered under your auto insurance policy. Plus check out discounts you could qualify for if your car is equipped with certain safety features.
Read More: These automatic safety features may help keep you safe, but they don’t make these bad driving habits any more acceptable.
Bill Hoback says,
Thanks for the information. I have always drove like this. It was taught to me years ago by my mother who taught me to drive at the age of 14.
Relyn Consigna says,
That’s a very useful information.
Mansour Shabani says,
Thanks that’s so much helpful for us
I find that cars with dark tinted windows on the driver’s side is dangerous because other vehicles cannot determine if he acknowledges you. Those should be illegal.
Also, people tend to assume other drivers motives. One should never assume even if it’s obvious. I believe “assuming” the characteristics of traffic patterns causes accidents and this should be on the top of your list as well.
I drive a 2000 Lexus ES 300. We recently test drove 2016 and 2017 cars that have the features you mentioned and more. The difference between my car and the newer ones is that my car has great visibility (side and rear), unlike the newer cars. I didn’t feel comfortable with limited views in newer cars. The reason for these cameras and blind spot warnings is because this is the way the engineers designed the newer cars. They do not give you panoramic views (side and rear). My car is designed so I do not need these safety features. I can see all around my car. I never had a problem backing up because the rear of my car is not high like these newer ones. My trunk is large but it doesn’t not block my read view. I also felt closed in driving the somewhat newer cars due to small side windows and rear visibility. I think I’ll keep my car.
The Simple Life
Tammy Zarichny says,
Why doesn’t a Geico offer vehicle credits for these features? I have all of them including Adaptive Cruise Control, but no credits for all of these safety features?
Rayon Franklin says,
Very good idea
Edward Route says,
Love the information. It keep you on your toes. Keep it up. Thank you.
I once owned a vehicle with automatic high beams and it was wonderful. Could never understand why that feature didn’t continue to be manufactured. Congratulations on your info and for being aware of the need for such.
It has continued to be manufactured. My 2018 Honda CRV has it (as well as all these other features mentioned in the article) and I love it!
Denise Bennett says,
I read the article l am a very careful driver have never hit anyone
It would be wonderful if drivers would use their signal lights. I believe that is a necessary part of defensive driving.
Carole R Revelle says,
I agree! I didn’t realize how often I change lanes without using mine, especially when no one else is around me until I bought a 2017 Subaru Forester that beeps at me when I don’t. We all need to be more conscious and conscientious about our driving habits.
Anthony Johnson says,
Thank you for the Great and Helpful Advice. .
Michel Ridgely says,
One additional safety feature should be added to the list of future standard features, that being the following: When it becomes necessary to activate one’s windshield wipers due to rain, the vehicle’s headlights should automatically activate as well (or at least a reminder such as a buzzer should activate to prompt the driver). Far too often when it rains there is someone who fails to turn on their headlights. Under the condition of rain and mist, especially when traveling on major (busy) highways, it is virtually impossible to see vehicles in one’s side or rear view mirrors that have failed to turn on their headlights. This is especially true when the vehicle is the same color as the environment, such as a dark silver or gray. Making lane changes under these circumstances can be very hazardous.
Mohammad Iqbal says,
i believe this is a very good idea to send a mail or email time to time educate the drivers for new coming regulation and safty tips.
Sue Sheldon says,
Great information thank you.
Marcus R Casto says,
With all the best technology in the cars who will be responsible if one of the safety features fails, and will these safety features become part of the State vehicle inspection to make sure they work. Another question is will the insurance lower on cars with the safety features installed?
Good question You’re right the they should make the headlights in a way it should turn on automatically when it gets dark on the road