As drivers, we have all been in situations where we have looked down when something has fallen or became distracted by someone or something in our vehicles only to suddenly have to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash. Manufacturers have created a lot of noise over various technologies included in newer model cars, but do these devices actually help prevent crashes? The definitive answer is some do, some don’t. Nothing beats vigilance and defensive driving, but some newer technologies actually do help prevent dangerous situations. Here are some features worth the extra cost when you consider purchasing a vehicle.
Adaptive Cruise Control
Forward-looking sensors monitor the distance between your car and the one in front of you. The system will automatically slow your vehicle while in traffic to maintain a safe following distance. This system is useful if you do a lot of highway driving, but not in heavy traffic as it will constantly slow your vehicle in such circumstances. When traffic speeds up, the vehicle accelerates to maintain a preset speed. Although this feature is prevalent in high-end cars, most automakers are trying to bring this to their entire lineup.
Forward Collision Avoidance System and Autonomous Braking
The same sensors used for adaptive cruise control are used along with auditory or visual warnings when your vehicle gets too close to the one in front of you. This type of system may also pre-charge the brakes in some vehicles to give them extra response in emergency situations and may even apply brakes on their own if the driver fails to do so.
This technology allows drivers to see more clearly as they round a curve and helps immensely with property damage liability claims. These headlights are often combined with high-intensity bulbs and leveling systems that keep headlights aimed at the road. This system is available on a wide range of vehicles and is valuable for those who do a lot of night driving.
Backup cameras and Reverse Sensors
These systems are already available in many mid-range cars and will alert you when you are about to hit something while backing up.
Lane Departure Warning/Assist Systems
These systems also use cameras to sense when your vehicle drifts out of its lane, sounding an alarm to call your attention to the problem. These systems also apply brake on one side to nudge your vehicle back into the lane.