Car collisions are frightening. You hope it will never happen to you, but it’s more common than we’d like to believe. Distracted driving, speeding, drowsy driving, drunk driving, rain and snow, ignoring traffic controls, and other conditions and errors in judgment too often cause accidents. Before you know it, you’re wrapped up in a car crash claim.
While it’s worthwhile to improve your bad driving habits on your own initiative, nobody can drive perfectly every time he or she hits the road. Thankfully, more and more comprehensive technological systems are designed to combat these factors.
Here are some of the best technologies yet for making cars safer.
1. Tire-Pressure Monitoring Systems
Tire-pressure monitoring systems are composed of tiny sensors inside your tires that keep track of the air pressure. If it gets too low, a light will pop up on the driver’s dash to warn you about it.
When the light comes on, it could mean that a tire is under inflated, you have a puncture, or there’s a bubble in the sidewall. Any of these items could cause bigger problems when you’re driving, so you’ll be grateful for the warning light system.
About 11,000 accidents per year are caused by tire failure. It’s vital to get your tires checked and rotated every six months, because a blowout could cause a rollover incident. Replace them when necessary to avoid such a catastrophic event.
2. Collision Warning Systems
New automobiles are often equipped with collision systems that detect your proximity to the cars in front of or behind you. They’ll warn you when a collision seems likely.
Many of these systems will also apply the brakes for you if a collision is imminent. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these collision systems seem to work well. Fewer insurance claims are filed for property and liability coverage when cars have these systems in place.
3. Electronic Stability Control
Many new cars have a little button on the dashboard called electronic stability control. When engaged, this system applies brakes to individual wheels while simultaneously reducing engine power.
This complex web of actions makes it easier for the driver to control the vehicle and respond more quickly in adverse driving conditions like rain and snow. Most cars built in 2012 and later are equipped with electronic stability control systems.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that this system reduces the risk of single-vehicle crashes by up to 56 percent.
4. Backup Cameras with Sensors
Collisions while backing up are among the most common fender benders. It’s easy to hit a parked car or someone’s property when you’re moving in reverse, but if you have a wide-angle camera hooked up at the rear of your vehicle, you’re much less likely to suffer this kind of misfortune.
These camera systems are also equipped with color-coded lines that show you your impending path and relative leeway. This makes parallel parking and safe driving in reverse so much easier (and less stressful!).
5. Park Assist
If the guide lines on your backup camera aren’t sufficient, you could probably use park assist, a cutting-edge technology on the newest vehicles that takes all the hard work out of parking for you … totally.
Park assist takes over the operation of the brakes, gas pedal, and steering wheel and maneuvers your vehicle into a parking space for you, even tricky parallel parking spots — with no input from you, the driver, whatsoever.
6. Voice Controls
Smartphone use is one of the most threatening habits for safer driving. It’s a prime factor in 10 percent of all fatal accidents among teenagers, and more than 424,000 injuries a year.
Voice control has made a huge positive impact on this problem. It allows you to engage your smartphone, navigation system, car computer system, and other programs without lifting a finger. You can keep your eye on the road, where it belongs, while using the tools in your car through vocal commands.
7. Lane Detector
A lane detector is a similar system to that of your backup camera or collision detection system. It scans the roadway and defines the lines for the lane.
When the vehicle starts to move out of your lane and your blinker isn’t on, the technology alerts you so you can get back into your proper lane of travel. The warning system typically manifests as either beeping or vibrating steering wheels and driver seats.
Some systems even correct your lane wandering automatically. Anything that can avoid further car wrecks is a great feature.
It’s not always easy to change your habits, but these technologies can make some problems obsolete. Thank goodness for them!