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Car Safety: 7 Safety Features to Look for When Buying a Car
November 25, 2020● 4 minute read●
Cars have evolved over the years with technological advancements. Nowadays, automobiles are more efficient and move at a much higher speed. Safety features in cars have also advanced to par to protect drivers. Gone are the days where seatbelts and airbags were the prime safety gears.
Australia records over 1000 deaths per year from road accidents. This alarming figure shows that car owners need to be more aware about safety features available in new cars. Buying a car can be quite overwhelming, and it can be hard to keep track of everything. This article explores the latest safety features to look out for when buying a car.
1. Auto Emergency Braking
This feature helps a vehicle to automatically engage its brakes when a crash is sensed. This prevents auto collision or reduces the impact at the very least. Most crashes happen during a moment of distraction. The AEB system detects a potential collision and alerts the driver, braking the car if their reaction is not enough to prevent a crash.
This technology has also been improved to protect pedestrians. The cameras and radars can detect vulnerable pedestrians through their shape and movement in relation to the path of the car. The brakes will be applied automatically if it senses the situation to be critical.
This feature is present in mid to high-end cars and has been shown to reduce rear-end collision by 50% according to the IIHS data.
2. Lane Departure Warning
Sometimes, drivers do veer off their lanes unintentionally. The lane departure warning system identifies lane markings with the help of a front-mounted camera. It gives off a visual, audio or tactile signal when the driver starts drifting off the correct lane.
A more advanced system known as the lane keep assist gives steering input and gently turns the car back into the right lane if the driver continues to veer. This system is great for the highway but can have trouble detecting lines on country roads or where lines are faint. The system can be turned off in this case.
3. Adaptive Cruise Control
Traffic and rush hour can be really frustrating. Having to accelerate and brake every moment, not knowing what speed the car in front will move at. ACC is an intelligent system that measures the speed of the vehicle ahead with radars and cameras, setting the distance between cars and adjusting speed levels.
It takes convenience to another level by letting the driver set the desired speed and adjusting automatically in relation to vehicles ahead. For example, if a slower vehicle moves in front, the system automatically slows down your vehicle to maintain distance and then takes it back to the preset speed once the vehicle moves out. It’s great for driving on the highway, alleviating driving stress. It also works in hand with anti-collision systems to ensure maximum safety. Although, it’s also worth noting that the cameras and radars don’t work their best in bad weather.
4. Traction Control
This is a computer-controlled system that helps to prevent loss of traction on roads. It’s most useful while driving on wet and icy roads to prevent wheel slippage. It is activated when torque and throttle input do not match road surface conditions. Each wheel has a sensor that changes its speed when there is loss of traction, the system will apply ABS to the wheel or cut off its engine power. Electronic stability control is a more advanced form of traction control.
It is also a main feature in race cars to improve performance by allowing maximum traction under acceleration without spinning the wheel. Contrary to popular belief, traction control does not increase traction but helps to prevent the wheels from turning.
5. Reversing Cameras
Reversing accidents are one of the most prominent in Australia. It’s hard to monitor all back-view angles by making neck adjustments and controlling the car simultaneously. This feature uses a monitor and a rear-facing camera to give the driver a clear rear view through a screen in the dashboard.
Some more advanced systems offer clear large screens that can read distance and trajectory lines. They also offer bird’s eye view and a 360-degree camera that makes it almost impossible to miss other vehicles, pedestrians or obstacles. This feature helps to ensure that children and animals are protected from being accidentally run-over. It also makes parking into a tight space easier.
6. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
Under-inflated tyres are one of the contributors to road accidents. Some drivers still find it hard to keep fuel in the tank, tyre pressure is definitely not on their priority list. This system offers a pressure monitor that signals the driver with a warning light or display when the tyre pressure falls below normal.
Properly inflated tyres provide stability and increase brake efficiency. It’s also economical as under-inflated tyres increase fuel consumption and reduce the tyre’s lifespan.
7. Blind Spot Detection
This feature uses sensors placed on the side mirrors or rear bumper to detect cars in the blind spot. It alerts the driver with a visual, audible or tactile signal. It allows the driver to safely switch lanes as it warns about another vehicle in that lane so there is no accidental collision.
Some advanced systems even offer a camera footage of the blind spot. They may also offer “Cross Traffic Alert” that alerts the driver of traffic from the sides when backing out of a parking space.
Ever heard of the ANCAP rating? The Australia New Car Assessment Program is an independent safety body that crash tests new vehicles, checking everything from how they react in collision situations, the functionality of the advanced features, to how the airbags are placed. The car is then giving a rating from one to five depending on how safe it is. A vehicle must achieve really high standards in all tests to achieve a 5-star rating. Car buyers should duly consider the ANCAP ratings of a vehicle before purchasing.
Written by Jacaranda Team