by: Ursula Nizalowski
When it comes to traveling in our automobiles, we must be considerate of the safety features they have. Over the past 20 years, there have been incredible advancements in technology including vehicles which now have electronic systems and built-in computers. These systems benefit drivers by assisting their driving or providing extra vision so the drivers can better assess their surroundings. As a result of new safety features for automobiles, newer cars and trucks are arguably safer to drive.
Blind-Spot Detection System
The bane of every driver while they’re on the road is their blind spot. That’s the only place in their field of vision where they can’t see anything including approaching cars. Fortunately, modern cars have a radar system that detects blind spots and “alerts the driver with a series of beeps or visual cues” when the driver is in a dangerous position according to GEICO Living. It’s especially useful for those who drive frequently, and in large vehicles since their blind spots tend to range from 13 to 18 feet which Consumer Reports discovered through a series of tests.
Depending on how packed the car is, the driver may not be able to see the rear view well. This may lead to a potential accident. But now most cars have rearview cameras, which gives the driver a near perfect image of what’s behind them. In fact, advanced cars will actually let the driver know if something is blocking their way while backing up from a parked position.
Driving Assist Feature
A driver who has been traveling for a long time will inevitably suffer from fatigue and might start drifting out of their lane. This not only puts the driver at risk, but also nearby vehicles. New cars, though, have built-in assist systems that automatically steer the car back into the center lane. They even allow drivers to cruise “at highway speeds” without adjusting the car’s speed “to match the vehicle in front” as claimed by the Wilshire Law Firm’s blog.
While the cruise control system is optional for newer cars, another feature that has shown up is night vision. This allows drivers to see things after dark using infrared light or increasing the brightness of whatever lights are currently on. Now even though the night vision feature is very useful, it’s not the most affordable since luxury cars have it built into them and night vision cameras can cost from $33.97 up to $22,995 according to Autoweek.
Following the introduction of the GPS, new cars have a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. What this allows drivers to do is make “hands-free calls” and get “live traffic updates, easy navigation, weather reports, satellite music, and access to emergency services” says Car and Driver. All of these features help keep the car’s occupants safe, and it’s predicted that cars might be able to transmit vital information between each other to prevent a collision. These new safety features for automobiles include the following ones introduced specifically for trucks.
Because trucks are large in size, it’s more difficult for the driver to be aware of their surroundings. That’s why modern trucks have warning systems equipped “that provide rear cross-traffic alerts.” They also “allow truck drivers to be alerted if they are starting to drift slightly” according to Tech Times. As a result, the chances of a rear-end or drifting accident are reduced significantly.
Much like current cars, trucks have built-in cameras inside the cab of the truck. Fleet Equipment magazine says these cameras often come with “a forward-facing lens capturing…outside footage, and an inside lens that observes the driver and passenger”. This not only gives the driver a clearer view from their cab, but also supports them legally in cases when they’re blamed for damaging the truck.
Electronic Stability Control
Implemented in modern trucks and cars, this system helps drivers steer better by electronically maneuvering the vehicle in a safe direction. Thus, it reduces the likelihood of an accident due to steering issues. And for trucks, that’s a big deal since their size makes it harder for drivers to steer them efficiently compared to regular cars.
Brake Assist Feature
Another disadvantage that trucks have to deal with is not being able to brake quickly enough due to inertia. So for this reason, trucks now have air disk brakes that have shorter stopping distances. In addition, a brake assist feature has become available for trucks that serves the same function as an air disk brake only it is electronic.
For any accidents that do occur, though, feel free to contact attorney Rick Wagner.