The Best New Car Safety Features

Posted in Car Accidents on May 5, 2017.

Are you in the market for a new vehicle? While your main focus may be horsepower or the color, it’s also important to consider safety features. Today’s models come fully loaded with the newest in safety technology. But which features will contribute the most to keeping your family safe on the road? We’ve compiled a list of features to include before signing on the dotted line.

Time to Say Goodbye to Your Old Car

A recent study by the Insurance Institute of Highways Safety (IIHS) found that the average age of a car on the road is 11.4 years, an all-time high. While you may love how your old sedan handles, the same study found that newer vehicles are significantly safer than their older counterparts. Data from the IIHS shows that your chances of dying in a car crash with a late-model vehicle have fallen by a third in just the past three years. And nine vehicles produced in the model year 2011 and later boast a driver death rate of zero.

These marked improvements are not only the result of new safety technology, but also recent regulations that require vehicles to pass a battery of crashworthiness tests. Today’s vehicles are more structurally sound and crashworthy than ever before. Here are some of the reasons why.

Sophisticated Airbags

Vehicles produced in the early 2000s feature two front airbags, but even the cheapest of newer models have side curtain airbags that efficiently protect your passengers in case of a crash. Today’s offerings even include inflatable seat belts, and pedestrian airbags that inflate over your windshield in case you hit someone crossing the street.

Virtually every model on the market today has a sophisticated airbag system, which is considered within the standard set of features. Researchers claim they’re one of the most important innovations in car technology, second only to a seatbelt.

Safety Sensors

One of the greatest innovations in modern safety technology is the inclusion of sensors, which can communicate with your car’s onboard computer. These sensors serve a variety of purposes, including:

  • Backup cameras, which help you park, avoid pedestrians and obstacles, and beep whenever you’re close to colliding with something.
  • Adaptive headlights, which provide optimum lighting based on the time of day, weather, and traffic conditions.
  • Blind spot warnings, which combine sensors with radar to let you know when a vehicle is traveling alongside yours.
  • Lane departure warnings, which effectively warn you of a dangerous condition by vibrating your seat or steering wheel
  • Forward collision warnings, which use a sophisticated combination of sensors, cameras, radar, and lasers to detect the current conditions and alert a driver if they’re closing in on another driver too fast. Some models send an alert or vibrate the steering wheel to get a driver back on track. More cutting-edge models actually apply an auto-brake, stopping your vehicle before it crashes. If there’s one area to spend your money, it’s on this safety feature. It’s available in most high end models, but is also an option on more modestly priced vehicles like the Subaru Impreza.

Will Safety Features Save Money on Insurance?

Here is an added bonus: many safety technologies will save you money on your car insurance premiums. Generally speaking, the longer the technology has been around, the better the discount. Auto insurers usually wait for data proving the feature’s efficacy before offering discounts. All insurers offer discounts for airbags, but only a few offer discounts for features like adaptive cruise control or lane departure warning. If you have questions about how safety features will affect your coverage, talk to your insurer.

Discounts are only the silver lining. The true benefit lies in more effectively protecting your loved ones on the road.

If you were injured in an accident or one of these new safety features failed to protect you, call the Birmingham car accidents attorneys of The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC to schedule your free consultation.