If you’ve been involved in a car accident, one of the things at the top of your to-do list may be to buy a new car. Whether yours was irreparably damaged or you simply feel that you need a safer vehicle, you’ll find a lot of safety features available on newer model vehicles. Some are standard. Others are part of a package that you will need to pay a little extra for.
How do you decide which are most important to have? Let’s look at just a few of these features that can prevent a crash.
Many drivers wonder how they lived without these. They give a clear view of what’s behind you whenever you put the car in reverse. The let you know how far you are from objects behind you. They let drivers see children and animals whom they wouldn’t be able to see from their mirrors because they’re low to the ground.
Blind spot detection
This technology warns you, typically with a blinking light in your side-view mirror, of vehicles approaching at your side that might be in your blind spot.
Lane departure warning
This feature beeps at you if you start to drift out of your lane. Sometimes, it’s paired with something called “lane keep” that will steer your car automatically back into its lane if you move out of it.
Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
This feature applies the brakes if it senses that a car is going to collide with the vehicle in front of it, and the driver hasn’t done so — for example, if they’ve dozed off or are distracted. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that AEB can reduce rear-end collisions by half.
None of these features, of course, is a substitute for defensive driving. Drivers should always be alert and ensure that they look all around them, including in their blind spots, before backing up or changing lanes.
Too often, drivers choose to deactivate the features because they find them annoying, intrusive or unnecessary. They won’t do you any good if you turn them off.
It’s also dangerous to assume that other drivers have the same safety features that you have — or are using them. However, a well-chosen package of safety features can help lessen your chances of being involved in a serious crash.