We all have certain things we want from a new car. For some of us it’s more legroom, while others want more cargo space. Then there are those drivers who just want a great sound system.
While all of those are personal preferences, there are other features for cars that shouldn’t be as flexible. Before you check out the whistles and bells on your dream car, make sure that it’s also designed for safety. Here are five great new safety features to look for before you add that new car to your “most wanted” list.
1. Blind spot warning
Many accidents occur simply because we can’t see what’s in our car’s blind spot. This relatively new system uses radar or cameras to detect vehicles that are in the lane beside you and/or hidden in your vehicle’s blind spot. Some systems sound a warning if you begin to move into the lane occupied by another vehicle – or even put your turn signal on when another vehicle is in your blind spot.
2. Lane departure warning
This warning system, which uses cameras or lasers to “read” lane markers, alerts you if you move outside of your lane without using turn signals. In more advanced versions, it will even use your car’s stability system to keep you from hitting another car.
General Motors’ OnStar was the trailblazer in allowing drivers to stay in touch with a dispatch center when they needed help, but today many manufacturers – including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Kia, Lexus and Hyundai – offer a factory-installed system that uses a combination of GPS and mobile phone technology. This allows drivers to do everything from locate a “lost” car in a parking lock to unlock doors without the key to get emergency aid after a car accident – all at the touch of a button.
4. Backup camera
Backing out of a driveway or even out of a parking space is much safer when using a backup camera. Not only can this help you avoid dings and dents on your cars from misjudging the distance of something behind you but, more importantly, it can spot things like people, pets and children’s toys that might be behind the car but not visible through your mirrors.
5. Pedestrian detection
New technology uses radar or camera-based systems to detect pedestrians that step into the car’s path. Volvo was the first automaker to offer this feature, which automatically hits the brakes if the driver doesn’t, and now Ford, Honda, Audi, Lexus, Mercedes and BMW all have similar systems available. Industry experts predict that by 2018 all automakers will offer some sort of pedestrian detection system.
While these new safety features are convenient, they can never be a substitute for a driver’s careful attention and diligence to keep roads safe. Ensure you and your vehicle are protected on the road with the right auto coverage from Nationwide.