If you bought a new car in the past decade, you may rely on several built-in safety features you may not think twice about while driving around town, like antilock breaks and rearview cameras. Automakers are continuously developing new technologies that work to protect drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. This new safety technology is being installed in new vehicle models so quickly that it soon may also become commonplace.
With the number of accidents on the road each day, automakers must keep safety a top priority. In 2018 there were 33,654 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States and 1.8 million injury-causing crashes. Additionally, from 2009 to 2018, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 53% (from 4,109 deaths in 2009 to 6,283 deaths in 2018), according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Car Safety Innovations
From vibrating your seat to adjusting your steering wheel, automakers are working on “active electronic safety technologies” that automatically protect us on the roads. Some of these technologies include:
- Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
- Automatic high-beam headlights
- Lane-departure warnings
- Lane-keeping assist
- Blind-spot warnings
- Rear cross-path detection to sense traffic and pedestrians behind you
The best news is that you may not have to pay sky-high prices for these new safety features. Many now come standard on affordable vehicles from Ford, Honda, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, and more.
National traffic organizations and safety authorities have teamed up to create standardized names for the features listed above to help consumers make better decisions when shopping for a new vehicle. However, companies may still have different terms for these features. Dealerships and automaker websites can offer more detailed information while shopping for a new car.
The goal of many of these innovations is to help prevent crashes from ever happening, but when they do, there are also new safety features that will hopefully help to prevent injuries.
For example, over the years, the number of airbags inside of the vehicle have increased with six airbags now being commonly found in most vehicles. Some vehicles now even come with airbags for rear passengers. Certain vehicles have additional airbags positioned by the legs and torso to better protect the body when a crash happens.
As another example, automakers are fighting drowsy driving by installing driver attention systems that monitor steering wheel movements and cameras that watch drivers. These systems can detect when a driver has lost control of a vehicle and protect the driver with actions like cinching up seat belts, deploying airbags, and retracting the brake pedal.
Make Safety a Priority
One thing automakers do not have control over is your dedication to staying focused while driving. Cell phones can be the biggest distraction while driving. Our best tip is to save phone calls and text messages until you have arrived safely at your destination. Put your phone away in a bag, set it to “do not disturb,” or use apps that deter distracted driving.
With the holiday season in full swing, remember to never drive under the influence or allow a family member to do so either. Call a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft for a safe and sober ride home if you have been celebrating with alcohol.
If the unfortunate does happen and you suffer a serious injury in a car accident due to the negligence of another, you may be able to seek compensation for damages. We invite you to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation at (305) 662-6178.
Voelk (2020, October 8). New Safety Features in Cars (or Just New to You). Retrieved from: https://nytimes.com/2020/10/08/business/new-car-safety-features.html
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts Annual Report Tables. Retrieved from: https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/tsftables/tsfar.htm#