Vehicle manufacturers have implemented a number of new features in the past year or so that are designed to keep drivers and passengers safe. While there is no question that the technologies are intriguing and well designed, there are questions about just how much they actually improve safety. Here are a few of the most common new safety features that we have noticed and a breakdown of whether we think they actually improve safety.
Anti-theft systems continue to get better and better. Etching the VIN number directly on the vehicle windshield and body frame is a serious deterrent to thieves because they are difficult to remove. Many newer model vehicles also have a GPS tracker which allows you to track the vehicle if it is stolen. These features all make a vehicle more difficult to steal, which is the most important factor in keeping your car safe.
Lane Departure Alert
The lane departure alert basically sounds an alarm if your vehicle drifts across the center or outer line on the roadway. More advanced features even have something called â€œlane keep assistâ€ which will steer the vehicle back into the center of the lane. Both options are disabled if you have your turn signal on to make an intentional lane change. These features were developed to prevent driver crashes resulting from distracted or sleepy drivers and they appear to be paying off.
Also called backup cameras, these devices are one safety feature that lives up to the claims. Not only do these cameras prevent child and pet deaths when backing up, they also give drivers a wider angle view which prevents backing into other objects. The cameras work best on larger vehicles, such as a SUV, but are a worthwhile add-on to any vehicle.
Automatic Crash Detection
Automatic sensors on many vehicles can now detect a front-end collision is about to occur and will automatically brake to avoid it. While auto insurance statistics have shown that these features do indeed reduce crashes, there are some caveats. Not all manufactures use the same technology and some are more effective than others. This is a feature that is well worth purchasing, but check reviews on the performance before you pick a manufacturer.
Voice Activated Calling and Texting
Many vehicles now have voice activated calling and texting to prevent drivers from looking at cell phones while driving. While this may seem like a great idea, studies have shown that drivers talking on these devices are actually mentally distracted. Thus, they may not really increase safety at all.
The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.