It wasn’t so long ago that airbags, anti-lock brakes, seat belts, and cruise control were novelties. Now, new safety features are making our vehicles even safer. In the recent years, researchers have been able to invent many more technologies that keep drivers safe and work proactively to minimize the risk of an accident. Below are some of the auto collision features which provide the highest safety ratings for drivers.
- Electronic stability control (ESC)
Electronic stability control is one of the most important developments in car safety, it automatically reduces the engine power and, depending on the individual ESC system fitted, it can operate the individual brakes should it detect that the vehicle is about to skid or lose stability as the result of the inputs of the driver. Independent studies have shown that Electronic stability control systems could prevent up to a third of auto collisions. It is such an important car feature that manufacturers are now required by law to install Electronic stability control systems on all new vehicles. This vehicle safety feature is generally known as ESC, but other acronyms that are used by car manufacturers include VSC, ESP+, ASC, DTSC, DSC, ESP, VDC and VSA.
- Blind-spot detection/ collision/side assist warning
This technology is designed to alert the driver to objects or vehicles in their blind spot during parking or driving or, or both. Normally it responds when the driver put on the turn signal; if the system detects something in the way, it might sound an alarm, flash a light in the driver`s mirror, or cause the steering wheel or seat to vibrate. It is more of a short-range detection system.
- Occupant-sensitive/dual-stage airbags
All people aren`t created equal, and airbags are evolving to compensate in the form of occupant-sensitive, low-risk and multistage deployment. This technology can sense the different weights and sizes of car occupants as well as rear-facing child seats, seatbelt usage, abnormal seating position and even car speed.
It is important to note that despite numerous advances in airbag safety and design, airbag failures still occur. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an airbag failure, you should immediately contact an experienced and professional injury lawyer. If you suffered a serious injury or if your loved one was killed by an airbag, an investigation by your personal injury lawyer can help you discover if the manufacturer of the airbag was at fault.
- Wake-you-up safety/Lane-departure warning
This is like the side-assist/blind-spot technology but has a higher range. It judges the speed and distance of an approaching vehicle and warns the driver of any potential dangers if they change lanes. The system can also warn the driver if it determines that the vehicle is wandering out of a lane, which can be useful if the driver becomes distracted. The warning can be in the form of an alarm or vibration through the steering wheel or seat. In the future, it is expected that lane-departure warning systems will be able to monitor eye activity, body posture and head position to determine if the driver is falling asleep and the car is behaving erratically.
- Automatic braking systems (ABS)
The automatic braking systems use sensors to detect any potential imminent collision. Individual abs systems vary between marques, but they`ll generally audibly alert the driver and then automatically apply the brakes if no action is taken. At lower speeds, most ABS can prevent a vehicle accident altogether.
- Electronic brake-force distribution (EBD)
This development of anti-lock brakes automatically distributes the braking force between the wheels, helping to minimize stopping distances while bringing the vehicle to a safe stop in a straight line and predictably.
- Emergency brake assist/collision mitigation
This brake technology is different from an electronic brake force distribution or antilock braking system, in that it is able recognizes when a driver makes a panic stop (a fast shift from the gas pedal to the brake pedal) and helps shorten the stopping distance by applying additional brake pressure. It might also work in conjunction with the stability control or smart cruise control system in some cars if the system senses a potential collision.