There was a time when safety features of a car were an afterthought. Today’s automobiles come standard equipped with many car safety features that we do not even think about such as seat belts with shoulder harnesses, and airbags. New laws are coming on the books regarding rear facing cameras and other safety features that will improve our ability to operate our vehicles in a safe and effective manner. These laws are not retroactive though, so many cars are sitting on lots at this very moment that are not equipped with all the latest safety features. So what safety features should you be looking for in your next family car?
Rear Facing Camera
Ok, so the law states that all new cars after May of 2018 will have a backup camera installed as standard equipment. The advent of the backup camera has been a lifesaver for many people. Every year, 200 people are killed in backover accidents, and another 14,000 are injured. The rear facing camera system allows drivers to see when someone is directly behind their vehicle. At first glance, one might think that this is sill, why couldn’t the person just look out their back window and see someone, but then when you consider the possibility of a child fetching a ball from behind your car, you begin to see the ways that a backup camera can help. Aftermarket backup cameras are easy to install and can be operated with a wireless signal that allows the owner to install the camera with little or no need to drill holes in the car body.
Forward Collision Alert Systems
So if we have something that tells us that we are about to hit a child who is directly behind our vehicle, it might also be smart to have car safety features that tell a driver when they have something in front of them. Forward collision systems alert a driver when something is too close to the front bumper of the car. This can be a child or a pet playing when you are ready to pull out, or it could warn you when you are in traffic. Drivers often get distracted while tuning a new radio channel, eating, or even turning to look at their children in the back seat. A forward alert system is a solid way to let the driver know what is going on and helps to keep them on track. Many forward collision systems use an audible alert, but some are integrated with the car’s braking system and will automatically stop the car. While drivers should not rely on this to keep them out of trouble, it can be a lifesaver when someone looks down at their stereo, only to look up and see traffic has stopped immediately ahead.
Blind Spot Monitor
As we all learned when we got our driver’s license, every car has a blind spot. How many times have you had that oopsie moment where you start to change lanes, only to see that there is another car already in the space that you intended to occupy? That’s where science has come to our rescue. Modern technology is helping us become more aware of things in our blind spot with microwave radar. Blind spot detection systems use this radar to “see” cars that are in your blind spot and alert the driver by a chime or informational lights. Aftermarket blind spot monitors are not as common as rear facing cameras but are readily available online, or at many local retailers.
Keeping your family safe should be your number one priority. While vehicular accidents do happen, using safety features in modern cars can help us avoid these mishaps. Many of these safety features may seem like expensive add-ons, but when you consider that they may play a pivotal role in keeping you out of an accident, their value is priceless. Next time you are on the car lot looking for a new car, look for these vehicle safety systems. They may save your life or the life of someone you love.