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5 New car safety features explained

The increased number of vehicles, and their technologies, on the road has made car safety more important than ever. The first lesson that is taught is a driver’s responsibility in ensuring their safety and the safety of others on the road. However, no matter how careful you may be, there is still a chance that accidents and collisions can occur. 

Here are some of the new safety features that can be used to reduce risks even further, including alerting systems or using smarter technology to adjust the car to keep everyone safe. 

Autonomous Emergency Braking:

One of the best safety features introduced to newer models of cars is Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB). This feature alerts you if the car gets too close to another vehicle and if you don’t brake in time, the car brakes itself. 

The safety feature is great due to the fact that it helps to prevent crashes rather than save the driver as they happen, unlike seatbelts and airbags. Over the next decade, we could prevent more than 1,000 deaths and over 120,000 injuries in the UK due to the new car technology. 

A study from 2015, by Euro NCAP and Australasian NCAP, found that AEB has already led to a 38% reduction in crashes in urban areas, where most crashes occur at speeds of 25 mph or lower. 

AEB systems use light detection and ranging (Lidar), radar and camera systems, or all three, to detect other vehicles and some can even detect cyclists and pedestrians. The good news is that all cars made since 2019 have the technology because the Euro NCAP rating requires it. 

Electronic Brake-force distribution system/ Anti-Lock brakes:

Having Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) is a fantastic safety feature, as it minimises the effects of an impact while the vehicle is braking. The system spreads the braking to all the wheels of the moving vehicle so the car stops quicker and the braking distance is reduced. 

Should it work effectively, the car should also stay in line of a straightforward projection and you’re still able to steer as it is happening. This is because the system releases the braking in very quick and frequent intervals, meaning you can stay in control. 

Using speed sensors, the safety system alerts the car, and you, when the wheels are about to lock up and prevents skidding when you brake abruptly. In dry, solid roads, ABS is most effective due to the reduction of skidding, however, even in wetter conditions, you can still remain in control since it still vastly reduces collisions. 

Adaptive cruise control:

Cruise control has been around for a while now, as it had been introduced and made in the sixties. However, there is a new development of the popular technology called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). 

You, as the driver, are not only allowed to maintain your speed, but the car will also maintain a safe distance from other vehicles. ACC uses radar-based or laser-based technology to match the speed of the car in front of you. Regardless of the technology your vehicle uses, it will stay a safe distance from the car in front of you, limiting the possibility of a collision. 

Even though many drivers have benefited from using cruise control over longer distances, especially on motorways, ACC uses your surroundings to make the safest precautions. It is important to note that because of the different technologies in the safety feature, different cars’ ACC can differ, so be aware you may need to adjust when you switch vehicles.

Lane-keeping/ lane departure warning technology:

Not only can sensors help your car keep a safer distance between other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians, cars now have Lane-Keeping and Departure technology to warn you if you’re too near to the lane boundary. 

This is especially useful due to the fact your car will alert you if you haven’t indicated before you start drifting towards the lane. In some instances, cars will vibrate the steering wheel or make a sound to alert you, while in others they will display a visual alert. 

You can even find cars with lane-keeping warnings and ACC systems that work together to make driving a bit more relaxing, because your car will do the heavy lifting. 

When your car has the safety feature, you should know what alert type you may face, so you know what to look out for. Some cars even manoeuvre the vehicle themselves if the car needs moving from the lane boundary to keep you safe. 

Blind spot warnings:

Likewise to lane-keeping technology, blind spot technology also alerts you when you’re close to other vehicles. It uses a visual symbol, vibration or sound alert to let the driver know there is a vehicle in their blind spot. This is used by cars to alert the driver to indicate and make sure there is enough room to merge lanes. 

Similarly to lane-keeping technology, blind spot warnings typically rely on radar sensors to detect nearby vehicles to the car, ensuring car safety for you. Some cars also have countersteering technology to make sure that the car can direct itself to keep the vehicle away from a possible collision. 

What sets the blind spot warning apart from the lane-keeping warning is that instead of warning you if you haven’t indicated, blind spot warnings alert the driver if they have indicated and there is a vehicle next to them. As this suggests there is a risk to take, should you make the decision to turn without checking your blind spot. 

Finally:

Modern solutions to car safety are at an all time high for innovative technology to take centre stage. Instead of putting the responsibility solely on the driver, your car is now fitted with safety features that can take the stress off of you. Although we recommend you don’t abandon your responsibilities as a driver, your vehicle can always adapt to how you drive to prevent avoidable accidents.  

Modern technology has come a long way since the invention of the seatbelt, and checking your car’s manual to see what safety features you can use to keep you and your passengers safe is always a good idea. Or similarly, you could use this guide to see what safety features you would like in your new car.

Carry can provide you with many newer cars that have these features and it’s always a good idea to make sure you choose a car that suits you best, especially for safety features you wish to use.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe while driving: https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/road-safety/

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