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features of the car

Today, vehicle manufacturers are rolling out an entire line-up of vehicles with fantastic safety features. Do not let the endless choices overwhelm you or assume that all safety features are created the same. You can find a safe, efficient vehicle within your price range just by knowing the safety features that are crucial versus those that are more optional.

What Safety Features Do You Want in Your New Vehicle in Chicago?

Some safety features are required by federal law, while others are more of a convenience. Those required include front airbags, stability control, safety belts, and LATCH for child safety seats. Note: side curtain airbags are not required, but most manufacturers offer them standard today.

You can see the full list of required safety features by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

From these required safety features, you come into the optional features. Some optional features are included standard by manufacturers while others require an upgrade, and specific companies only offer an exclusive few.

Blind Spot Detection

Not all manufacturers offer this system standard, but it is indeed one to consider. Blind spot detection will alert you by using a light on your side-view mirror. It will blink any time there is a vehicle or motorcycle in your blind spot – preventing you from accidentally changing lanes and cutting them off or causing an accident.

Some systems are more advanced and will create an audio alert if you attempt to change lanes with something in your blind spot.

Systems today are advanced enough also to detect pedestrians and cyclists – one of the harder objects to see in your blind spot.

Lane Keeping Assistant

Wandering into another person’s lane, whether it is a vehicle or cyclist, can cause a catastrophic vehicle accident. That is why manufacturers created the lane-keeping assistant. This program uses cameras to detect lane markings and keep you centered. Some will only notify you if you begin to drift out of the lane while more advanced systems will take over and put the vehicle back into the center of the line.

These systems disengage when you put on your turn signal, which indicates to other motorists that you are changing lanes or turning.

Lane keeping assistant not only forces you to engage the turn signal, which promotes safety, but it will also keep you from causing accidents by entering another person’s lane unintentionally.

Rear-View Cameras

Only recently were rear-view cameras added to the list of required safety features on cars. Therefore, if you are buying a used vehicle, it may not have the rear-view or backup assist system. Consider purchasing a vehicle with this life-saving safety feature if you can.

Not only does it make life easier when backing into a spot or backing out into traffic, but it can save the life of a small child.

These systems provide you with a camera view behind your car’s rear bumper – an area unseen even if you were to look over your shoulder. Some systems are advanced and have grid lines showing you how close you are to an object (with the red lines meaning you are about to strike the object).

As of May 2018, NHTSA will require all new vehicles sold in the United States to have a rear-view camera system. Therefore, if you purchase a new car, it must have the system equipped as a standard feature.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)

NHTSA highly recommends a vehicle with AEB because these systems detect a forward collision and prevent them. First, the system alerts you that you are about to crash and then it will take corrective action if you do not respond by applying the brakes to either stop the collision entirely or reduce the impact.

One reason NHTSA supports this technology is because the dynamic brake support on these systems can potentially save lives and put an end to the hundreds of thousands of rear-end collisions happening in the United States.

According to NHTSA, in 2015, 33.4 percent of police-reported crash incidents were a rear-end collisions. Advanced avoidance programs and automatic braking technology could stop most of these crashes and by compensating for driver inattention – a growing problem in the U.S.

Furthermore, NHTSA states that these systems are already being included as a package on most vehicles, and manufacturers are using a variety of sensor systems. Therefore, NHTSA cannot predict how much this addition would cost, but they still recommend drivers consider it for their next vehicle purchase.

Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking (PAEB)

Pedestrian automatic emergency braking (PAEB) is a frontal pedestrian impact system that stops a vehicle from striking a pedestrian.

The PAEB uses forward-looking sensors and automatically applies the brakes or supplements if a pedestrian is detected and there is a danger of striking that pedestrian. These systems rely on cameras and sensors, including radar detection.

PAEB systems are highly advanced and can help avoid crashes in four different pedestrians versus automobile crash incidents:

  • A vehicle heading straight into a pedestrian crossing the street
  • A car turning right while a pedestrian is crossing the road
  • A vehicle turning left while a pedestrian is crossing the road
  • A car heading straight, and a pedestrian is walking with or against traffic

Right now, NHTSA does not recommend PAEB in their list of 5-Star Safety Ratings, but it may be added in the years to come.

Forward Collision Warning System

Forward collision warning systems (FCW) use monitors and sensors to track a car’s speed as well as the speed of a vehicle traveling in front. It measures the distance between those two vehicles and then notifies the driver of an impending crash if the vehicle gets too close to the other. FCW does not take over nor do they apply the brakes. Instead, it is a warning system that notifies drivers to act.

Heads Up Display

Distracted driving is a severe problem in the United States, and not all instances of it are with ill-intention. Take the GPS system for example. Older vehicles have GPS systems mounted to the center console, which means the driver must take his or her eyes off the road to look at their GPS.

To avoid such a distraction, more manufacturers are creating heads-up display systems. These solve the issue of looking away by putting the information up front – typically on the windshield – so that the driver’s eyes are always on the road.

Luxury vehicles may have options that come in full color that will tell you not only the directions but your speed and the speed limit of the new zone you are about to enter.

Non-luxury vehicles keep it more straightforward by projecting the image of your next turn on the windshield. But regardless of whether it is black and white or color, this system can significantly reduce the number of distractions on the road.

Adaptive Headlights and Windshield Wipers

Technology has advanced far enough to reach the point where headlights and windshield wipers can detect when they are needed.

Adaptive headlights will pivot with the direction of your vehicle, which provides you with added light as you make a turn and improves visibility around sharp curves. Multiple models offer adaptive headlights today, including cars from Acura, Mazda, and luxury vehicles like Mercedes-Benz.

Adaptive windshield wipers are equally impressive. These wipers will automatically turn on when raindrops are detected on your windshield and turn off when they are no longer needed. The technology can be overly sensitive or not sensitive enough, but you have a manual override in case you need to turn off or turn on the wipers – such as in a car wash or when you encounter a light spray.

911 Automatic Notification Systems

Another recommended safety feature by NHTSA is the automatic crash notification system. This system will automatically notify emergency responders if you have been in a crash and provided them with your vehicle’s location. This could be a life-saving technology when a person is unconscious, and there are no witnesses to call emergency responders.

These systems have been shown to reduce the number of accident fatalities and long-term disabilities because they ensure emergency teams reach a car quickly and the victims receive medical care within the hour.

Injured in a Motor Vehicle Crash? You May Qualify for Compensation

Even with all the safety features above, an accident could occur. When someone causes your motor vehicle accident and you suffer significant damages, you can hold that driver financially accountable.

To explore your rights and see if you qualify for compensation, it is best that you speak with an accident attorney. An attorney from Malman Law could help you with your case. Contact our attorneys today to schedule a free consultation at 888-625-6265 or request information about our car accident cases online.

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