In today’s society, driving a car enables a person to get to work, travel, and have more economic independence. Unfortunately, it also exposes the driver to the many dangers that are on the road, like inattentive drivers, traffic congestion, and poor road conditions. When a thousand-pound vehicle is combined with human error, things can turn deadly pretty quickly. This is why car manufacturers have begun to use technology to improve safety features and narrow that margin of error. Here are six examples of safety technology in today’s cars:
1. Forward-collision warning
Using the same laser or radar technology as ACC, forward collision warning systems will alert the driver to possible hazards directly in front of their vehicle. Typically, the car will make a loud beeping noise or flash a warning light if it detects a possible obstruction in the road. Some cars combine this warning system with the automatic braking function, dramatically decreasing accident risk.
2. Automatic emergency braking
This safety feature is designed to automatically apply brakes if the car detects an imminent collision. It can also dramatically reduce a car’s speed, which can make the difference between a fender-bender and a devastating accident.
3. Adaptive cruise control
Also known as ACC, this function allows the vehicle to automatically adjust its speed based on the distance between itself and the vehicle or object in front of it. The main advantage of this function is the car’s ability to keep a safe following distance, which lowers the risk of accidents via front-end collisions.
4. Rear cross-traffic alert
This function uses specialized sensors in the rear bumper to detect approaching vehicles while the car is in reverse. It’s especially useful for backing out of a parking space, when the driver’s view can be obstructed by neighboring parked cars.
5. Self driving safety technology
Safety is a huge concern when it comes to self-driving cars. However, driving is already a dangerous activity even if the car is not self-driving. While the research on autonomous cars is still ongoing, the implications for future safety are very positive. Car accidents happen due to a predictable chain of events that are usually triggered by human error. By taking the human factor out completely, accidents can potentially be reduced. Fully automated cars can also take over for drivers who become incapacitated during a medical emergency and allow people with disabilities to travel more freely.
6. Lane departure warning/lane-keeping assist
A car’s lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist systems enhance safety by keeping the car in its current lane. They sound quite similar, but there is a key difference between these two features. The lane departure warning system uses harsh sounds or tactile vibrations to alert the driver if they are drifting out of their lane. On the other hand, lane-keeping assist corrects drifting by automatically steering the car back to the center of the lane. One advantage of this feature is the reduced risk of dozing off behind the wheel.