Car safety features are provided in every modern-day vehicle to enhance the safety of the occupants during the journey. Some safety features are standard on every vehicle whereas some vary based on models and manufacturer. As every safety technology has its advantages, every motorist should be familiar with them and get them installed in their vehicle if possible.
Let us have a look at some useful safety technologies that are useful for every vehicle:
Adaptive Cruise Control
Most vehicles have adaptive cruise control that alters the speed of the vehicle if it detects a slower vehicle in front. The feature makes use of the vehicle’s camera modules and radar to change the speed. When cruise control is activated, it enables the vehicle to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. Some advanced versions of adaptive cruise control also bring the vehicle to a complete stop and start again when needed.
This feature has been around since the 1950s when Cadillac Buick and Oldsmobile cars were debuted by General Motors. Earlier, the system relied on light-sensitive sensors, but the latest versions have high-tech camera modules that can detect oncoming vehicles and reflection from road signs and automatically switch to high beams if needed.
Active Park Assist
This safety feature makes use of radar and sonar to detect empty parking spots for motorists. Once a spot has been located, the feature assists in steering and while the driver focuses on the brake and accelerator. Some advanced versions also offer parallel or perpendicular parking capabilities while some manufacturers limit the capability to either one of these features. Although some safety features work seamlessly, active park assist can be ineffective due to external factors so motorists should be careful and prepared.
Automated Emergency Braking
This feature is also useful in alerting the driver of any imminent threat when it detects a possible collision with the vehicle in front. The feature makes use of radar and forward-facing cameras to detect vehicles ahead that may be close. A warning will be issued if the driver does not take action on their own. Some vehicles have a similar feature for reversing as well. Although automated emergency braking is not standard on all vehicles, it can be expected to be made standard by 2022.
Blind Spot Monitor
The blind spot monitor also uses sonar sensors that are either installed in the rear bumper or the side mirrors to detect vehicles that may be in driver’s blind spots. This feature can detect vehicles in adjacent lanes or vehicles that are behind the car’s roof pillar. The vehicles with blind-spot monitors have warning lights in the side mirrors that illuminate once a vehicle is detected. Some vehicles also begin to beep if the turn signal of the vehicle is turned on.
Driver Attention Monitor
This feature has been developed to keep an eye on the driver and prevent accidents from happening in case the driver is sleepy or drowsy. The feature makes use of sensors to monitor the movement of the car and the volume of steering to assess if the driver is paying attention or if they are distracted. In case the feature wants to alert the driver, it sends an audible or visual alert. Some advanced versions also have a driver-facing camera that monitors the driver to detect when the driver is not attentive.
Lane Departure Warning
This driver-assistance feature monitors the lane markings on the road and alerts the driver if they stray from their lane. The feature will alert even if the vehicle is in danger or if the driver is changing lanes without turning on the turn signal.
Forward-Collision Warning Systems
This system also makes use of radar or cameras to monitor the traffic and alert the driver if they detect a possible collision. The warning is sent out in visual or audible form to draw the driver’s attention. The system is often paired with automated emergency braking that will apply brakes if the driver does not take action promptly.
Lane Keeping Assist
Unlike lane departure warning, this feature prevents the vehicle from leaving its lane by making corrections in steering to keep the vehicle in its lane. The feature simply recenters the vehicle by moving the steering wheel without any movement being made by the driver to adjust the direction of the vehicle.
This feature is also known as proximity sensors that help the driver during parking by detecting obstacles using ultrasonic transducers. In case the sensor picks up any obstacle, it sends an alert in form of a series of beeps that increases tempo as the vehicle nears the object. The sensors are located on the rear and front bumper.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
This safety feature also makes use of ultrasonic transducers or sonars to warn the driver about vehicles or pedestrians that may be approaching the vehicle. This feature is useful when the motorist is reversing. In some vehicles, this feature also automatically applies brakes in case it detects a possible collision.
Safety features help improve maneuvering and prevent accidents when the driver is not paying attention. However, the features depend on cameras and sensors that can be sensitive to light flares or be covered up by dust or snow. Therefore, the driver should not completely rely on safety features and stay alert while on the road.