Modern car safety features mean that driving has become safer than ever. But when looking for a new car, what vehicle safety technologies should you be looking for? We’ve put together a top ten of the car safety features your new car has to have.
Driving technology has changed dramatically over the past decade. Engines are more efficient, in-car entertainment has become as good as your living room, and climate control means you can have the car at the exact temperature you desire. But it’s safety where driving technology has really taken off.
Driver assistance technology has taken a lot of human error and reliance on reaction speed out of driving. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that 7 in 10 cars on the road now come with safety technology. This has led to a 10 per cent fall in accidents over the last five years.
Safety technology has now become one of the biggest selling points for modern cars, with companies demonstrating just how advanced their cars are - Video
And the future will see it become law that cars must be fitted with a wide variety of different safety technologies. So what are the car safety features you should be looking for in your new car?
A big part of what makes modern car safety features work is how the car reads the road. Adaptive headlights work to give you maximum illumination of the road ahead of you, without causing any disruption to other drivers. They will dip automatically should a car be coming towards you, and they will also move with the curve of the road. This car safety feature has become especially popular with the advent of LED lighting - Click here to watch a demo video of this happening.
Also referred to as automatic braking systems, collision awareness technology is one of the more recent safety features to be introduced. The system works by monitoring the road ahead for any sudden obstacle in the path, be it a pedestrian stepping out into the road unexpectedly or a car stopping suddenly in front. This car safety feature is a big part of what makes autonomous technology work.
Long hours on the motorway can become tedious. Keeping focused and in your lane can be difficult. Lane assist technology reads the road and helps keep the car positioned comfortably in the centre of the lane.
Working with lane control, blind spot assist helps when changing between lanes, or when pulling away from the side of the road. Sensors on the car will detect if another car is overtaking at speed, preventing the car from changing lane if it would cause an accident - Video
Another key part of autonomous technology, adaptive cruise control works by keeping a safe distance from the cars in front and behind at all times. Using cameras and sensors on the front and back, the computer ensures there is enough braking distance at all times. This safety feature is still in its early stages and still requires the driver to focus on the road.
A car safety device that also helps you park, reversing cameras are becoming more and more common. The camera lets you see exactly where the cars going when reversing, with an onscreen display alerting of any obstacles in the way. It’s also perfect for reversing out of a driveway and making sure no car or pedestrian is passing.
Working with the reversing camera, cross-traffic assist helps the car sense danger where you can’t see it coming. Sensors on the rear corners of your car will detect oncoming traffic. So if a car is coming, you won’t reverse into its path.
One of the older car safety features on the list, anti-lock brakes are a great example of how car safety technology continues to be developed and improved over the years. Anti-lock brakes stop the wheels from skidding, with the more modern cars also adapting to put more pressure on the front or back tyres, depending on the situation - Video
Traction control is designed to help the car retain a grip on the road, especially in wet and icy conditions. Once solely found in high-performance cars, it’s now much more prevalent as a safety device in modern cars. By evenly distributing the power between the wheels, the car won’t wheelspin and can adapt to the surface to retain grip and control.
The final car safety feature on this list is one that not only helps keep the car safe but also removes a lot of the stress from a certain aspect of driving – hill starts. If you live in a hilly area, you might be familiar with those nervous moments at a junction when you’re waiting for the light to turn green on a steep incline. You can end up over-revving your engine, causing you to lose some control as you panic to get going again. Hill start assist gives you peace of mind - Video
There is always a danger that drivers could become over-reliant on the car to keep them safe, rather than using their own judgement to keep themselves and their cars safe. But the technology is only there to assist drivers. Using your eyes and mirrors cannot yet be replaced. However, the quality of the technology is constantly improving.
These car safety features are working - the stats don’t lie. Ten per cent fewer accidents in the past five years and this will only increase as more and more drivers choose vehicles with these advanced car safety features.
The next big thing in cars is autonomous driving, where you can sit back and relax while your car does all the work for you. While this is still a while away, the technology that will become a key feature of autonomous driving will be used to improve car safety in modern cars.
So if you are considering changing your car, choosing a modern car with modern car safety features is the best way to protect you and your family. Find a car that has these ten car safety features, check its Euro NCAP rating, and then find a great car finance package using our Creditplus vehicle search. Then simply complete our quick online car application form and you’ll be driving a better, safer, newer car in no time.