In recent years, technology in cars has changed quite a bit and cars are becoming safer for all of us on the road. These new safety features can help with crash avoidance, minimizing injuries during an accident and helping you become a safer driver overall.
In the United States alone, more than 37,000 people die in motor vehicle accidents in a single year and 2.3 million sustain injuries or are left disabled. With numbers like these, there’s no question that vehicle safety should be a priority. Not only are vehicle manufacturers taking safety seriously, car insurance companies are beginning to recognize the importance of safety as well.
Safety as a standard feature
Consumers place value on the importance of safety in cars, and car makers are responding by offering more models that are equipped with better safety technology. In the past, these features were only available as additional upgrades which led to a higher price tag. However in more recent years, 20 of the world’s top automakers agreed that by 2022 most of their cars will come equipped with forward crash mitigation. Toyota has already gotten ahead of the curve and equipped the Corolla with standard forward auto-braking.
With car makers stepping up their initiatives, car insurance companies like Elephant Insurance now reward car owners who drive cars with new safety technology by giving them discounts. The following are some of the safety features that now come standard on several new cars and can also help keep your car insurance premiums low.
A small camera is mounted on the rear of the vehicle and transmits the images to a small screen that is either embedded in the dashboard or mounted to it. The camera provides a wide view of the area behind the vehicle, alerting the driver of curbs, people, other cars, or anything else that may be in the car’s path as it backs up.
Also known as a forward-collision warning system or pre-crash system, this feature uses several types of technology to detect when a crash is likely to occur. Laser, radar, and cameras may be used as the base of the system, while GPS sensors work through a location database to detect stationary hazards like dangerous intersections, traffic lights, and stop signs. Once the system detects a possible collision, it warns the driver to react. When the collision is unavoidable, the system takes steps to avoid it by affecting the steering and braking, without any input from the driver. It works best when the car is traveling at lower speeds of around 30 mph.
Lane-departure warning systems alert the driver when their vehicle starts to move out of its lane. If the turn signal is engaged, indicating the vehicle will turn the same way that the car is veering, then the system is not activated. Lane departure is one of the primary causes of collisions and can occur due to distracted driving, driver error, and drowsiness. There are three types of lane-detection systems:
- Provides audible, visual, and/or vibration alert if the vehicle begins veering out of its lane.
- Warns the driver, but if they do not take action, the system takes action to keep the vehicle in its lane.
- Controls steering so that the car remains centered in its lane, calling on the driver to take over in certain situations.
Bluetooth technology has several features that make it a valuable safety feature in cars. It allows for hands-free calling and is the backbone of driver-assist systems. It cuts down on the probability of distracted driving by allowing drivers to make calls, accept calls, and even text, without looking at the phone screen or holding the phone in their hand. The driver-assist systems employ sensors and cameras to act as another pair of eyes for the driver, alerting them to potential hazards on the road.
This system uses sensors that detect other vehicles at the rear of the car and on the driver’s side – usually called a car’s ‘blind spots’ — and alerts the driver with an audible, visual, or haptic warning (like a vibration on the steering wheel). Sometimes the sensors are located on the side mirrors and flash to alert the driver of vehicles in their blind spot. Cars “clipping” vehicles riding in their blind spot is a common cause of accidents. This system helps lessen the risk of clipping and in some cars.
Safety features and car insurance
When deciding what car to purchase, consider which safety features come built into the model. Newer safety technology could lead to a better resale value and of course, keep you and your family safe while on the road. As more insurance companies like Elephant recognize how important it is to put safer cars on the road, drivers are rewarded with savings thanks to the benefit of having safety components. It’s a win-win for everyone!